Taking A Winter Work Vacation? Do These 5 Things Before You Leave


Just because you’re one of the newer employees at work doesn’t mean you should kiss any chance of a winter vacation goodbye.

Everyone needs a vacation from time to time and while asking for time off can be a little awkward, planning ahead will help the process go as smoothly as possible – and keep you in your employer’s good books!

Below are some useful tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your winter vacay.

1. Make Sure You Have The Right Grounds To Take A Vacation

Most employers require that their employees work at the company for a certain length of time before being able to use accumulated paid vacation time. According to the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Act, employees are entitled to 2 weeks of paid vacation time following every 12 months of employment and the pay is 4% of your yearly wages. For example, if you made $32,000 in a year, your vacation pay would be $1,280. Speak to your employer or the Human Resources staff for more information on your specific organization.

When picking the dates for your trip, touch base with your employer to find a time that works well for you and the company. Doing this will show your boss that you are responsible, proactive, and serious about your work.

2. Give Notice Of Your Scheduled Trip A Few Weeks In Advance

Every company has a different policy on required notice for vacation days. However, it’s important to show consideration for your managers and co-workers by giving them as much time to prepare as possible. After all, they’ll be taking on some of your workload on top of their own while you’re on vacation.

Aim to give your managers at least a month’s notice if possible, especially if you have a larger role in the company with more responsibilities. This way, they will have plenty of time to work with the team to delegate duties accordingly.

3. Communicate With Those Who’ll Be Picking Up The Slack In Your Absence

Communication and organization are always key in the workplace, but even more so when you’re preparing to take a vacation. Be sure to brief the appropriate people on your team of your ongoing projects and responsibilities, both verbally and in writing, so that nothing gets lost in the shuffle. It’s also a good idea to create a master spreadsheet that includes the contact information for all your clients and a schedule with all of the tasks that must be completed in your absence.

If possible, select a trusted colleague to be your “workplace vacation buddy.” This co-worker will be the Robin to your Batman – they will have your back and cover for you while you’re away. In case any issues come up, be sure this colleague has the necessary information to answer basic questions and handle any problems that might arise.

4. Set Up Automated Correspondence For Your Emails And Voicemail Box

Getting the opportunity to go on a vacation means you should have a break from all work, including responding to frequent emails and calls. As Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation would say – “treat yo’ self.” Make a note to inform all people you regularly correspond with of your absence well in advance so they can adjust their schedules.

For the other people that try to reach you, remember not to leave them in the dark. If there are emails or phone calls left unattended for over a day, it will reflect poorly on both you and the company. Avoid this issue by setting up an automated email reply and voicemail outgoing message that clearly states the time that you will be away and who to contact in your absence. Not sure how? Ask for help from the IT specialists, or your boss.

5. Organize A Smooth Flow Back Upon Your Return

The transition from vacation mode back to work mode can be tough, so in addition to planning your time off, be sure to prepare for those first few days back as well.

Plan ahead by creating a back-to-work to-do list for all your post-vacation tasks and projects so you can easily pick up where you left off. It is probably best to do this while you’re coordinating with your coworkers as mentioned in Tip #3. Upon your return, work closely with your team to go over all details and progress on your projects that you missed while away.

How do you prepare for a work vacation? Tell us in the comments!