Posted by Lisa Hamilton on Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 08:00
The holidays are just around the corner, and while it certainly can seem that taking time off from your legal job is more trouble than it's worth, studies have shown that vacation can help boost employee productivity. Here are five tips that can help ensure your time away from the office is stress-free:
1. Plan ahead.
Be sure to provide early notice of your plans to take time off. It's important to secure the dates you want and also to provide your legal manager enough time to review workloads and allocate resources, and arrange for temporary help, if needed.
2. Provide detailed updates.
Once you've finalized your vacation dates, let your team members know so they can keep projects on track during your absence. To smooth the way for your departure, provide a detailed record of your legal projects along with their status and next steps to your manager or team members.
3. Identify a backup.
A trusted coworker can serve as a project alternate, making decisions on your behalf and helping to keep projects moving forward while you’re out of the office. You'll want to return the favor the next time your coworker decides to take time off.
4. Leave things in order.
Make sure your workspace is neat and orderly before leaving. Let your colleagues know where keys to files can be found and how to access protected documents, if appropriate; or turn these materials and information over to your point person before leaving.
5. Turn on your out-of-office messages and set limits.
Don't forget to update your voicemail greeting and email settings to let others know you're away, and provide the contact information of your point person so important requests are addressed while you're out of the office. If you must check in with the office while you’re away, try limit your time online and respond only to urgent emails.
Finally, when you return to the office, give yourself a day or two to get caught up with email and meet with your team to get updates on project priorities and new requests.
Remember that you’ll return a better employee if you’re able to take a break. A little pre-holiday organization can go a long way toward assuring a relaxing respite from your law practice.
Need some help planning for adequate staffing of your law office during the holidays? Take a look at the suite of solutions Robert Half Legal offers here.