Picking Up the Slack When Your Coworker Is Out of the Office
Paid vacation is surely one of your favorite perks of the job. But when your coworker takes advantage of this benefit they’ve saved up, it can be quite a nuisance.
Plan What You Can
Generally, vacation days and maternity/paternity leave is planned months in advance, meaning there are some things you can do to help prepare for an increase in work load.
The best thing you can do is meet with the person who is leaving and find out exactly which of their duties need to be taken care of while they’re away and what can wait until they come back.
Listing priority items is useful at this time so that the office can continue running as smoothly as possible. Delegating certain tasks between multiple people means less work for everyone involved.
Ask the person for specific training in tasks you know nothing about. The last thing you want is to not be able to figure out an essential task, and the last thing they want is an emergency phone call from you during their time off.
Create a schedule of your regular tasks and theirs to ensure nothing gets left out. It is easy to overlook something when it’s not a part of your routine.
What Life Happens
Unfortunately, not all leaves of absence can be planned in advance. In cases of death of a family member, illness or injury, a coworker may need to leave without giving you sufficient time to prepare. There are still a few things you can do to make this transition of duties less stressful.
Discuss your coworker’s duties with their immediate supervisor and those who work closest with them. They may be able to give tips on what needs to be done and how.
Hire a temp when the absence is likely to be long, or if you are unsure when they will be able to return. There is nothing more stressful than taking on an overwhelming amount of work with no end in sight.
What strategies do you have to help pick up the slack? Share in the comments below.