Take Time Off Without Guilt

Lauren Krause
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Administrative assistants have many responsibilities in the office, and sometimes a suitable replacement cannot be found when an administrative assistant needs time off. Enjoy guilt-free vacation days by training relevant staff to take the reigns whether you need a "me" day or a two-week trip to the Bahamas.

The key remains making perfect notes and descriptions of what needs to be done every day you are out of the office. Your time off does not have to be a struggle for those you leave behind when you find yourself 1,000 miles away on the shores of a sandy beach sipping fruity drinks. The office should not look like World War III when you get back if you prepared ahead of time to take guilt-free vacation days.

Make a list of the day-to-day essentials that must happen to maintain a proper office when you are away. Tasks that you run automatically may not seem like a big deal to everyone else. However, without a regular staffer to mirror your work, the rest of the office may not know what to do. Picking up the mail, sending emails, confirming schedules and setting the alarm on the way out the door are daily things someone else needs to know how to do. Guilt-free vacation days start with a plan.

Know who to leave in charge with your tasks when you leave. These staffers should be people you trust to get your work done. Give these people a list of your passwords, logins, tips and tricks to make the office run more smoothly during your guilt-free vacation days. If possible, divide up the chores among two or three people. Give a list of each person's duties to your supervisor so he knows who to contact regarding his appointments for the day or where to find the report he needs for the key meeting with the board. Have these contact people in your automated out-of-office reply to your email.

Tell your deputies when to solve problems and when to let the boss handle things. Give tech-savvy people the chore of resizing photos for a report, and let the chatty ones answer phones. Tasks such as maintaining travel schedules and dry cleaning drop-offs can be given to those who love to dream about the guilt-free vacation days you have coming to you.

Before you leave on your hiatus, go over your to-do manual with your deputies. Thoroughly explain what needs to be done, when and why. Practice a dry run on the day before your vacation to ensure the staff will not fall apart when the fearless, unseen leader gets a much-needed break. Put your to-do lists in a visible place for your team to see in case there are problems. In a worst-case scenario, make sure the staff has your cellphone number.

Guilt-free vacation days are easy to find, even if you are a vital administrative assistant for an office that needs your expertise. The best way to relax on vacation is to trust people with your job by leaving an easy-to-read manual of essential duties.


Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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