With summer vacation in full swing and many pandemic travel restrictions being lifted, you are probably among those looking to take a much-needed vacation break. You might have your travel checklist complete: packing the right gear and making necessary reservations, but have you completed your Pre-PTO checklist? Taking Paid Time Off (PTO) is integral to caring for your overall well-being, but few things can be as stressful as returning to chaos at work! One of the best ways to minimize the post-vacation mayhem is to make sure that all your tasks and projects are in a good spot before you leave.

Read below for a few tips to help you get organized before taking time off.  If you’re a manager, feel free to share these tips with your team members.


Prepare for your departure

Block off your vacation dates on your calendar as soon as you have them, and make sure they don’t coincide with any important days or company blackout dates. Once you determine your vacation days, be sure that there will be appropriate coverage for your projects while you’re gone, and share a list of these with your direct reports and supervisor so they can keep an eye on anything that requires attention while you’re out. Remember to set an automatic out-of-office reply on your email and include a contact email and phone number for whoever will be covering you while you’re gone.


Plan ahead and cover your future bases

Create a game plan to make your return to work goes as smoothly as possible. Add special notes and action items to your project list to ensure you can pick up where you left off. Schedule meetings with your colleagues to get updated on your projects after your return, and be sure to block some time on your calendar to catch up on your unread emails. Staying organized before you leave will help you have a seamless transition back to work.


Take care of your physical health

Going on vacation will help you feel mentally refreshed and reenergized, but it’s important to take care of your physical health, too! Keep an eye on CDC guidelines, travel requirements, and recommendations if you plan to visit another country. By taking care of yourself, you’re not only protecting your own health (and sick days), you’re protecting your colleague’s health as well.


Pro tip: Time & Attendance tools can help keep PTO calendars organized and streamline approval processes. To learn how this or other technology solutions can help you and your team stay productive or for more human capital management tips, contact us!