It is that time of the year again to soak up some much-needed fun-in-the-sun! Like many of us it is a balancing act of spending time with family, juggling proposals and managing Operations. Going on vacation while being responsible for a project/proposal can be a daunting task. As a result, the average U.S. employee only uses 54% of their paid vacation days. And of those people who use their vacation days? 66% of them do work while on vacation.1 I don’t know about you, but when I go on vacation…I actually want to BE ON VACATION. It’s a time to enjoy being with friends and family, not a time to worry about work.
So, what can you do as a Project Manager that will allow you to sip those margaritas care-free?
- Be Proactive: Weeks before your planned vacation, communicate with team members on what extra responsibilities will be given out.
- Cross-train: Plan a suitable amount of time for your team to ask questions and state concerns before you leave. Nothing ruins “beach time” like a phone call from work.
- Define goals: Clearly state what should be completed while you’re gone. This will eliminate any false assumptions and ensure that all requirements are understood. Not even a deep-tissue massage will be able to fix this potential problem.
- Understand Potential Risk: There is risk associated with every project. Creating contingency plans can help ensure that things run smoothly. However, be flexible if things do go wrong and your team needs your help.
- Evaluation: Meet with your team before and after you go on vacation. Understanding what worked and what didn’t work is vital information that can be utilized for future projects.