For most workers, the novelty of the holiday season includes not only gifts, food, and family, it also means some much needed time off from work. But with this time off comes the logistics of finishing work on time, planning ahead, and requesting additional leave. Statistics show that us work hounds don’t always take all of our available time off, including vacation time or sick leave.
Here are four tips to make the most of your time off from work during a holiday:
Refresh yourself on company holiday policies to see if you can use any remaining vacation or sick leave.
Vacation, holiday, and sick leave policies vary from employer to employer. But in general, every employer does give a particular set of days off for holidays. Whether you can maximize this time off by piggybacking up on unused sick leave or vacation time is also dependent on your employer’s policies. Some employers require you to request vacation time far in advance, while other policies are more lax. Either way, you might have an opportunity to gain an additional few days off after a holiday if you do your research ahead of time.
Give advance notice if you plan to be out of office for more than the set holiday time off.
I can’t say it enough — give your employer advance notice of planned time off, especially if it varies from the typical holiday. Think ahead when requesting your time off. Will you be travelling long distances via car or plane to and from a family member’s house? Try to think ahead to possible delays, issues, or last minute changes in your plans. That way, if your employer needs you back by a certain time, you will both know in advance.
Prepare your work agenda for when you return.
A huge chunk of getting the most out of your holidays is preparing your work agenda now for when you return later. Make a to-do list of high priority items that need to be completed when you return to the office. But be aware — your email inbox and voicemail will both likely be full if you don’t plan to check it during your time off. So try to dedicate the first 30 minutes of your day back to sifting through these messages.
Plan your personal time ahead of time.
Dedicating time with your family and friends during the holiday is the most important part of your time off. So, do it right by setting a vacation message on your email and voicemail if you don’t plan on checking in. And then do just that — don’t check in! Take your time off to recharge, enjoy yourself, and come back to work a little brighter.
What tips do you have for making the most of your time off during a holiday?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.