How to manage your business while you’re on holiday

Holidays are a great opportunity to escape work and unwind. But if you run a business, it’s hard to completely disappear. Here’s how to manage your business while you’re away. 

When it comes to holidays, there’s always the question of how connected you stay with work. Do you want or need to be contactable at all times? To occasionally check in? Or to shut off from work completely?

We all need a break from time to time. It’s the opportunity to mentally and physically separate yourself from work to relax and refocus in time for your return. So, depending on how much you choose (or need) to stay connected with work, here are my top tips on how to stay in touch.

Organise your handover

Organising your handover is crucial. This is what your colleague or team will work off of when you’re away. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to send over a document or email with everything down to the small details.

Instead, I’ve found that it’s best to keep things brief, but comprehensive enough so your colleagues have the deadlines, key points of contact and action items to do while you’re away. If tasks can wait until you’re back, it’s better to leave it until then because you don’t want to give your team an unreasonable amount of work to do on top of their daily activities.

REALLY take a break – and let your team step up

How much you stay in touch with your business while on holiday really depends on personal preference. If you prefer to be very hands on, and find it difficult to make that separation from work, it’s worth both you and your team’s time to take that leap and enjoy your holiday.

This can give your colleagues the chance to step up and take on more responsibility while you’re off. Otherwise, you’ll be constantly hassling them to keep you updated, rather than taking much needed time off to spend with your friends and family.

If you leave your work in the capable hands of someone who reports to you, delegating responsibilities will build to trust and teach you that it’s okay to step back from time to time. (Struggle with delegating? You can read some tips here.)

Let your colleagues know when to contact you

When you’re in a more senior position, there will be times where decisions need to be run by you. So, to avoid missing any time sensitive decisions, let your colleagues know how and when you’re contactable while you’re away.

Equally, if you like to occasionally check in with work, then tell your team when and how often you’ll be in touch, and how. This will ensure that your colleague or team know the clear lines of when to contact you and when to avoid touch points.

Make sure your team have everything they need

If you prefer to completely shut off from work, then it’s best you cover enough in your handover so your team have everything they need for when you’re off. A smooth handover makes for a smooth return to work, so try to avoid leaving the handover to the last minute.

Short, quick fire meetings are best for handovers, so you can give your team the opportunity to ask questions if they have any. And even if you’re turning all your work devices off, or leaving them at home, it’s always good to let people know how to best contact you in an emergency.

What to do when you DON’T have a team to handover to

If you work for yourself on your business, you may be wondering “what team?” But just because you don’t have a full time team around you, doesn’t mean you can’t delegate and switch off for your holiday, or even cut back significantly on your workload.

By automating or winding down parts of your business, and making clever use of a VA and other skilled freelancers, you can keep your company ticking over while you enjoy a much-needed break.

Here are some tips to help you:

Then enjoy your holiday!

By preparing in advance for your holiday, and ensuring your team have everything they need to run the business in your absence, and have a clear plan of when and how they can contact you, you can take a proper step away from work, and get away mentally, as well as physically. And give your colleagues the opportunity to show you how they can perform while you’re away.

Jason Downes is Managing Director of Powownow.