Out of Office Checklist for a Worry-Free Vacation - GoToMeeting


Aren’t we all counting down the days before summer vacation?

Before you run off to lounge poolside, make sure you have everything squared away at work. This way you limit the chances that your precious vacation will be disturbed or that work will crumble in your absence.

Not sure what you need to do before you make a run for the exit? Here’s your nine-step out of office checklist so you can head off to your summer destination relaxed and worry-free.

1. Set your email autoresponder.

Your coworkers will appreciate the heads up they get from an out of office email responder. If you’re feeling extra fancy or have some time to kill, why not try a funny or clever out of office message. Just remember to keep things professional, and include all necessary information like:

  • The start date of your vacation
  • The date you will return
  • How you can be reached in the event of an emergency (optional for many jobs).
  • The team or peer that can handle things during your absence. (Make sure to give your team member a heads up if you’re leaving their contact information in your autoresponder!)

2. Sync with necessary team members.

Take the time to have a quick meeting or two to sync with your team members. Give progress updates on current projects, make sure everyone knows what they need to do in your absence, ensure everyone has the documents, access to files and apps to keep work running smoothly, and figure out what gifts everyone wants you to bring back from your travels (okay, maybe that last one isn’t really necessary). Just be sure everyone is on the same page before you take off to avoid problems while you’re away.

3. Clean up your desk.

Take the time to clean up your area so your coworkers don’t have to look at your mess in the office while you’re off enjoying life out in the world. Wash out coffee mugs, organize your papers, wipe down your keyboard, monitors, and mouse.

This is especially important if you are working in an open office setting. Check for hidden snacks and drinks that may go bad while you are out. Your coworkers will thank you, and you’ll be happy to return to a neat desk.

4. Mark your calendar and invite necessary team members.

Make sure your calendar is up to date with the dates you will be out. Invite necessary team members to your out of office event so they’ll remember exactly when you are out and when you will return. This can help your team make sure not to disturb you or plan important meetings or events while you are out.

5. Wrap up projects that are due.

It may be tempting to slack off at work and let some deadlines go. But don’t do it! The last thing you need is for those projects to be hanging over your head when you should be drinking something fruity with an umbrella in it.

You also don’t want to leave loose ends that end up falling onto your coworkers who aren’t lucky enough to be working their tan. Enjoy the peace of mind you get from knowing you finished all your work.

6. Stock up on medicine and take preventative measures.

Aspirin, antacid, vitamins — make sure you have everything you need to have a fun and healthy vacation. In the week leading up to your vacation, take extra care to wash your hands regularly and steer clear of any coworkers who make the poor decision of coming into work while they are sick. You don’t want to ruin the fun times with an annoying cold or flu.

7. Download necessary work apps on your phone.

Our phones are seriously amazing. They do everything. Make sure your phone is out of office ready by downloading all of the necessary apps if you can’t avoid working a little bit while out of the office.

In the event of an emergency meeting, you can rely on GoToMeeting’s mobile app to help you join the meeting at any time, anywhere. You also need to have an email client app, your team’s communication app like Slack, and a calendar app.

8. Snooze your notifications.

Once your phone is prepped for your vacation, make sure you don’t let work creep into your time away from the office! Snooze notifications so only the most urgent of notifications come through. You can update your email app and communication app to only notify you when it’s urgent. This way your team can still reach you and you won’t’ be bombarded by unnecessary work communication.

9. Bring chargers for phone and laptop just in case.

Best case scenario — you never have to open your laptop for anything other than looking up the nearest spa while you’re on vacation. However, you never know when a work emergency might pop up so make sure you have all necessary chargers for your work laptop and phone. If you’re traveling long distances, make sure to have a portable charger on hand so you’re never stranded without your tech.

Follows these tips to make sure you have the best break possible. Do you have any tips for someone who is preparing for their summer getaway? Share them in the comments below!