For many people, one thing weighs heavily on their minds during the holidays: vacation time. December is the most popular month for paid time off (PTO) requests. The average American has 10 days of PTO per year, along with 10 federal holidays. The holiday season brings up issues on how to handle PTO, from navigating end-of-year demands to ensuring not a single bit of earned vacation goes to waste. It can be daunting to deal with it all, which is why we’re breaking down how to navigate vacation time so you can enjoy the season!
1. Plan Ahead
A little planning and creativity goes a long way. Before the PTO clock resets, assess how much time you have left in the year. Between the remaining days and holidays, you likely have more time than you think!
If this was a healthy year, take a sick day to recover from a holiday weekend or to catch up on some sleep after a day packed with events. If you have time that expires, give yourself a long weekend, enjoy a staycation, or turn New Year’s Eve into an all-day party. These days all reflect the time off you earned- so take it!
2. Ask the Right Way
When asking for time off, over-communication is always the answer. Be transparent about what you are looking for, and hold your ground (within reason). As soon as you have firm dates to request, reach out to your supervisor to discuss. You do not need 100% certainty of your plans- and in fact, waiting might hinder your chances for approval.
When you ask, highlight the nature of your time off. Unplugging from the office is hard, given the tempation to pull out our phones and refresh email on vacation. Make sure you communicate if you plan on being off the grid, sprinkling in a work-from-home day, or available in case of one-off problems.
3. Organize Your PTO
Finally, before you sign off, provide an out-of-office plan. During the holiday season, there are often competing vacation schedules, tight deadlines, and projects to wrap up. Organization is the key to diminishing stressors and enjoying time away from your desk.
For all the supervisors out there, create a PTO calendar for employees to reference before asking for time off. They can see what others are already taking and better plan themselves. Then, work as a team to review plans and ensure everyone is on the same page to avoid issues.
4. Relax and Enjoy
Now it is time to be “out of sight, out of mind” while you are on vacation! Turn off cellular data for work-related apps while you are away, set up a vacation email responder, and set clear communication boundaries with colleagues.
This holiday season, let AdvantEdge Workspaces set you up for success. While your workspace cannot help you navigate PTO, they can make your time off stress-free with mail reception, call answering services, and more!