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Employees – How to avoid staff holidays chaos

Employees – How to avoid staff holidays chaos

As summer in Britain approaches, the chaos of staff holidays looms. As employers and employees alike prepare to take their holidays the business mustn’t stop, and a company’s smooth management and running throughout this period remains paramount.

After speaking to Property Aspects recently about what employers can do to manage staff holidays, Charlotte Gallagher, founder and managing director of P3 People Management, is back to discuss how employees can better manage their workload around holidays, and help keep the business running smoothly.

“The peak holiday season is fast approaching and employers are no doubt dreading the chaos that can occur when the office is operating with a near skeletal staff; tasks left undone, mail boxes overflowing, endless handover notes, and then the looming first day back when you’re faced with 600 urgent emails to answer.

However, P3 is a strong advocate of the ‘holiday countdown’ plan that’s designed to, with a little careful planning and organisation, ensure that the last day in the office is relatively stress-free and the first day back is a breeze.”

“3 weeks to go. The trick is to plan ahead – you should email your employees to remind them that you’re going away. It might be on the office notice board but it may not have registered. Remind them not to book appointments for you and plan in time with them before you go when they can go through any issues they think may arise in your absence. Next, ensure that your diary is kept free for the day that you return as you’ll need the entire day to catch up on emails and to update with the team.”

“2 weeks to go. Follow up with clients on any ongoing project work to advise the dates that you’re away, and have a meeting with your team for each project you are working on to ensure that everyone knows the status of each task. This is also the time to list everything that needs to get done before you leave. Also make a note to review your first week back so that any preparation work can be done.”

“1 week to go. No doubt you’re getting excited, but at this stage you need to list anything that needs covering when you’re away and email it to the team so you have time to discuss and iron out any queries.”

“1 day to go. Remind everyone in the team that you are off from tomorrow and set up your out of office facility. Activate your mobile answer phone and leave your desk clear with a folder for post and messages to ensure that you arrive back to an organised desk. Once that’s done, the only task that’s left to do is to pack your suitcase and passport – happy holidays!”

I’ve actually trialled this system, and in the past the team have sometimes literally forced me into the taxi to the airport, but now everything is in order. I leave the office calm and serene and return to a tidy desk and a manageable workload.”

P3’s team of HR consultants boast a collective experience of over 55 years. Property Aspects appreciates the contribution of their Founder and Managing Director Charlotte Gallagher.

For more tips on managing staff holidays as an employee or employer, call 0161 941 2426 or email