Taking a much-needed break? Ensure that you will enjoy the peace and quiet by tying up loose ends before ditching your desk.
Start with your computer. Run a check and complete all software updates and then execute a full back up. For extra insurance, complete your back up on an external hard drive and store it in an off-site location.
Be prepared in case of emergency requests and last minute changes by completing a back up on an online storage site, allowing you to gain access to your files from any computer, at any time.
Create a few relevant folders and save to them on a cloud-based storage site like Dropbox, or on a USB drive that you can take along. Confirm that your email accounts are synced to your mobile, laptop or tablet device.
Leave your computer on if you think you might need to access it remotely and be sure to enable the ‘Sharing’ or ‘Remote Access’ modes before leaving.
Set up an Out of Office notification that automatically replies to emails and messages sent to your accounts.
“Delegate responsibilities and have all your clients covered.”
Helpful information to include are your dates of departure and return, details of who to contact for immediate assistance and your apologies for any inconveniences your absence may cause.
You may also change your voicemail and phone messaging systems to relay the same information. Whatever you do, don’t leave your clients hanging.
These notifications will also save you the headache of sifting through hundreds of repeat messages upon your return.
If you are in the midst of a project or task, make sure to delegate responsibilities to a team member and above all, ensure that you have covered all your clients.
Assign a point person who can act as your stand in on all your accounts, and in the event that a deadline changes or a conflict arises.
Leave your assistant or another team member a list of emergency contacts, names and instructions, should you lose touch or be out of contact suddenly for unforeseeable reasons.
Organize your desk and office space before leaving. Not only will this make it easier should a team member need to find something on your desk, but it will be a calming and less stressful environment to return to.
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