Prepare your holiday replacement at the office well and you won't be stressed when you return to work.
Prepare your holiday replacement at the office well and you won't be stressed when you return to work. Yuri Arcurs

Prepare your fill-in staff for Christmas break

WE'RE only a handful of weeks away from Christmas, and on top of eating and drinking too much, for most of us that usually means at least a little time away from work.

If you're only taking a short break, or are lucky enough to work for a company that shuts down entirely over the Christmas/new year break, you probably won't be too concerned about who takes up the slack in your absence.

However, for longer breaks - especially when the business has to roll on in your absence - it's important that your handover is as helpful as possible.

If you're being replaced or backfilled while on leave, you need to ensure your replacement is as well prepared as possible. That responsibility, largely, falls to you.

Sarina Russo, managing director of the Sarina Russo Group, said the importance of an effective "holiday handover" shouldn't be underestimated.

Ms Russo said an ineffective holiday handover meant deadlines would be missed, customer needs overlooked and work piling up.

"A smooth and systematic 'holiday handover' ensures the job gets done," she said.

"The holiday taker can then return to work knowing they will not be stressed or overloaded on their first day back. These 10 simple holiday handover tips ensure holiday periods can be effectively covered with no detrimental effect on business productivity."

Ms Russo's 10 point holiday handover checklist aims to de-stress your return to work:

1. Write a step-by-step handover list outlining job duties, time lines, deadlines, resources, current actions and reporting responsibilities.

2. Give a copy of your handover list to both your replacement and your boss.

3. Have a face-to-face meeting with your replacement to explain protocols and duties. Encourage questions and give detailed answers.

4. Explain you're on holiday and who is filling in for you on your out-of-office email, landline and mobile telephone message.

5. If your replacement uses your workstation don't leave personal items in or on your desk.

6. Tell your friends you're on holidays as their emails may be funny to you but may offend your replacement.

7. Don't expect the job to be done exactly your way.

8. On your return, meet with your replacement, and your boss, to understand what has been done and what needs immediate attention.

9. Stay in the loop by catching up on office developments.

10. Ease yourself back into work and resist getting too stressed too quickly.

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