The months of July and August are for many, holiday times. However the days before the summer break may trouble some workers, because it’s right then when pre-holiday stress may surface. It’s not as well known as post-holiday blues, but it affects an increasing number of workers.
What is it and why does it happen?
I’m going away, with a thousand things to finish off and leave organized. What will happen if I am gone these days? I have so much work and no time to even organize my holidays or pending tasks. All too familiar, this happens to many of us, triggering what is called pre-holiday stress.
Although it isn’t recognized as a disease as such, this syndrome may negatively affect our work and usually manifests more intensely, the greater our sense of responsibility. We worry what will happen during the days we aren’t around, how our on-going matters progress, or how our unfinished ones remain unresolved.
Moreover we will need to organize and coordinate well with some of our colleagues so that workflows are not interrupted and can continue smoothly even though we are not around.
As it can affect all of us, we offer you 5 ideas to try to help you and to ensure pre-holiday stress does not overwhelm you:
- Create a plan: it is important to pre-plan the holiday months as much as possible. We will have to assess the planned dates of each employee’s holiday time, work volume and deadlines to make sure that these are met.
- Distribute tasks: if you work in a team, it is important to set up a meeting so that everyone can disclose their workload. Above all, it should be clear that the reallocation of tasks is temporary to prevent possible conflicts. It’s crucial to establish limits, i.e. set dates when everyone has to do these new tasks
- Prioritize: we will have to make a list of all the tasks to be done and decide which ones must be resolved before we leave. Good judgement will be needed to make sure we concentrate all our efforts on matters that may have greater impact on the business objectives of our company.
- Notify all our collaborators or clients: through email or message on our mobile phones that we will be away. We will have to specify the date of our return and who to turn to in our absence. Identifying stand-ins is not only advantageous to them (career development) but also benefits the company because if there isn’t one, this may lead to missed targets, process errors, or even losing a client.
- Leave all your work well documented, just in case a colleague should need something in your absence and thus avoid potential problems.
We hope you will find these ideas useful and have a good summer.