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Checklist for vacation

With summer coming up, vacation season will be in full swing. Instead of stressing about how things are going at work and worrying you’ll have to break vacation mode, it’s important you take the steps so you can feel recharged and relaxed.  

According to the Harvard Business Review, taking vacations can actually improve your job performance. You’re more than 30% more likely to receive a raise if you take 11 or more vacation days a year, and more than 64% likely if you take more than 11 days off. This is most likely due to the fact that taking vacations can result “in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home.” This can ultimately help you avoid burnout from your job, leading to more satisfaction in your working life. 

Importantly, however, the same study showed that to feel the benefits of unplugging when you return, you have to plan ahead. In fact, a key prediction of low vacation ROI was the added stress from not planning ahead. 


To help you make the most of summer holidays and — actually feel restored after your time away — we asked business owners and finance pros how they manage to unplug while keeping their business going strong.  

Here are their top tips for getting away.


1. Build a trustworthy team you can allocate tasks to 

Prepping for time off starts well before you book your travel. You need to have the right team in place — and make sure they’re reliable and trained well, so you know they’re capable of holding down the fort while you’re gone. 

Having a team you can rely on means you won’t have to stress about what’s happening at work because you can trust your team to get things done. Communicate early with your team, allocate tasks to be done among colleagues, and make sure to get confirmation before you leave. 

This template from Atlassian outlines some key considerations for your teammates. Here's what you should include in your out of office plan: 

  • An overview of your leave 
  • What you’re currently working on 
  • Responsibilities that need to be covered 
  • Issues worth bringing to your attention while your away 
  • The primary contact who can reach you 
  • A list of people who can answer questions 

Heres what you should include in your out of office plan_-1

2. Complete extra tasks ahead of time

One of the best ways to ensure you’re not stressed during vacation — or being pulled back to work — is to simply get your tasks done ahead of time.  

Consider outsourcing work to a third-party freelancer or consultant while you’re away to keep the workload off both you and your team.

3. Use project management platforms to keep initiatives on track  

In preparing for your vacation, take advantage of project management platforms like Trello and Asana. These tools are great ways allocate tasks to team members and keep everyone in the loop. Just enter projects details, and you can assign deadlines and the team members responsible.

This way you can plan tasks around your absence while giving your team members a high-level look at tasks and projects they need to complete while you’re away.

4. Take advantage of automation

Automation is a great tool for getting things done without lifting a finger. Create automatic email responses while you’re OOO that let recipients know you’re away and when you’ll be back. With automation, you can also schedule emails to be sent at a future date and/or time to ensure communication needs are met without you having to log onto your work devices.  

You can also create scheduled payments while you’re away to make sure payments are sent out on time. Automation solutions can be really beneficial in ensuring things get done in your absence. With Plooto, for example, you can schedule payments in advance, and even set up recurring payments. 

5. Monitor crucial operations using remote applications 

If you really need to ensure everything is running smoothly while you’re away, use remote applications like Teams, Slack, and WhatsApp that allow you keep on top of communications if there’s anything that really needs your attention. Similarly, remote video application like Zoom and Skype can allow you monitor events occurring while you’re away.  

If possible, try to limit your use to just monitoring business status and reserve responding to messages that are mission-critical. 

Likewise, any processes you manage through software — like payments processes through Plooto — can be quickly assessed by logging in, for quick peace of mind. 

If you need to check in remotely, keep a strict to-do list and timebox any time you need to spend working. And, of course, choose a location with good wi-fi and a motivating environment.

6. When all else fails, have a contingency plan

Sometimes things don’t go according to Plan A, so it’s always best you have a contingency plan. Ensure your team is aware of existing contingency plans in case of emergencies. Consider how you can reach your team remotely and how — if absolutely necessary — you can access work. 


Bon Voyage!

Getting away from work is crucial for you to recharge and relax, which will in turn lead to more satisfaction in both your work and personal life. Be sure to take advantage of project management software to prepare to leave, automation software to get things done while your away, and remote applications for monitoring!  
We hope these tips will help you have a relaxing vacation — you deserve it!  


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