The night before Christmas.... to do list!
The week before Christmas! Mine feels busy! I have lots to do and there are still clients who need our help right up until Christmas Eve. I quite thrive on being busy but I then worry about forgetting things. It is really nice to go on any break knowing that you have left work feeling like things were in order – well, I like that anyway. So, a few tips today on what to check off your list before you head on leave this year…
1. Staff leave: If you have staff – have you checked the Fair Work Act advice on payment for staff over Christmas and whether you can ask staff to take leave in quiet periods – under the Health Professionals Award, you cannot do this unless you have an agreement with your staff about this in place already. Check here for more information.
2. Email: Have you created an email ‘out of office reply’ message to tell people that you are not there checking emails and when to expect a reply? Providing an alternate contact for people can help if you have a colleague filling in for you whilst you are away.
3. Phone: Ensure your phone message greeting is relevant to your leave. Tell people that you are away and how long that will be for.
4. Post: Have you checked with the post office if your mail will be delivered over the holiday period? In our building, the post does not arrive because the building is locked - so we have the post office hold it for us until we are back from leave.
5. Power: Turn off appliances or devices that you don’t need running whilst you are on leave. Ensure that things like the air conditioning are not set to come on automatically in your rooms whilst you are away.
6. Closing hours: Put your closing hours and days on your website and Facebook pages if you have one, so people who are looking for you online over the holiday period know when you are around.
7. Referrers: A letter or email to your main referrers is a good idea to let them know when you will be back from leave.
8. Workspace: I always think it is so good to come back from leave to a tidy and organised workspace, so trying to even just spend 5-10 minutes giving your desk or work area a quick tidy and spring clean can make a difference.
9. Security: Depending on your office or clinic location, giving a thought to how you will ensure your premises stay safe over Christmas is important. Ensure there is no cash (or minimal cash) on site, testing alarms, ensuring someone is checking the place if you are away or that you have a contact person in case something happens like a break in and that the person you have left in charge knows what to do!
10. Contact: Let those around you know that you are happy to be contacted for. If you have staff, are you happy for them to call you on leave with any questions, or do you prefer they leave you alone and fend for themselves? Sometimes we assume people know this answer, but really, they need you to advise them what you prefer – and finding out what they prefer is a great idea as well when they are on leave!
Above all, have a lovely break if you are taking leave and spend some time relaxing and taking the time to feel proud of your accomplishments in 2016!