As the year winds down, chances are you, your colleagues, and your higher-ups are looking forward to spending some time away from work. Before logging out for the last time this year, make sure you plan ahead so you come back to an orderly inbox and a reasonable to-do list.
Best practice in any field is typically to establish your holiday schedule as early as possible, depending on how your company manages vacation requests. In the translation industry, it’s even more important to get those requests in early so managers can work around different time zones, regional variations in holidays, and personal schedules to make sure projects progress and details don’t fall through the cracks.
There’s something really satisfying about getting your desk in order before leaving for vacation. While your projects don’t necessarily have to be completely finished, there shouldn’t be unanswered questions left for a colleague to deal with in your absence. Make the status of each task or job very clear, and communicate the necessary information with the relevant contacts, internal and external, before you go.
Simple but effective, an away message ensures a prompt response to anyone who emails you while you’re out. Set a reminder so you don’t forget to turn on the away message before you leave. The most helpful away messages include the dates you will be away and when you plan to return, and note whether or not you plan to check your email.
Ask in advance whether you should set emails to be forwarded automatically to an available colleague, or if your message should provide an alternate address where time-sensitive messages should be directed. And of course, in the translation industry, it doesn’t hurt to have your message in a few languages, if you use those in your day-to-day work!