Before you go on vacation you need to take a few preparatory steps to make your time off bliss, instead of a miss. If you are dreaming about taking a few days off to bask in the sun, get some quiet time or take some time off with your family, not so fast!  There is more to it than just packing your bag and putting a note on your email saying, “talk to you when I get back.”

The biggest buzzkill to having fun in the sun is experiencing interruptions, the concern of a thousand emails in your inbox when you get back, and fear of what fell apart while you were gone.

Here are five things to do to avoid the dreaded “Out of Office Nightmare!”

1. Create your out of office plan.  Who is your back up? If you don’t have a backup, hire someone!

2. Inform your customers well in advance by email, text, and/or by snail mail at least 60 days in advance of your departure date. Let them know when you will be gone, and what procedures they will need to follow during that time.

3. If you have to have to be in contact with a client or clients when you are gone, or can’t quite let work go, set rules for yourself and stick to them.  Allow only early morning, and/or late evening check-ins. Leave the middle of the day for the sun, fun, and family. Make sure your staff and clients know the rules you have set.

4.Train your replacement. Define emergency procedures.  Provide a notification protocol. Do a test run by taking a few hours or a weekend off.

5. Last but not least, as noted in an article by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) —  Recruit Pinch Hitters.  Hire a company or person that can cover for you while you are away.  This person or company can prioritize your emails, respond to customer requests, manage your calendar, and when you get back from vacation they can review what they have done. You will be organized and ready to hit the ground running, instead of buried under emails and ten page “to do” lists.  Check out the full article on NFIB’s website at:

Girlfriday Business Solutions is your Pinch Hitter!  We are ready to step in and help you avoid the sheer panic that arises whenever the thought of a vacation arises. We will see that you have no more “Out of Office Nightmares” when you head out of town.

Call us for a free consultation and experience the Girlfriday Difference!