"I need to do this more often."
July 22, 2015
During this time in the summer a lot of people are out on vacation, which typically means someone has to pick up the slack. This will of course cause a good bit of extra work for everyone across the board. How do you handle an increase in work load while not becoming bitter with towards your coworkers?
Increase communication with your team
More than likely your entire team hasn’t gone on vacation at the same time. If one or two people leave from your team you’ll need to work together to pick up the slack. This is a great opportunity to improve communication and streamline your process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the extra work talk about it with the team and reassess who’s responsible for what.
See it as an opportunity to learn
You probably don’t have an identical job with whoever you are covering for. Whether their responsibilities are wholly different from yours, or just slightly take the time to learn from their workload. If possible pick up some new skills, networking connections, and most importantly perspective of how your regular work coincides with what they do.
Take your own vacation
While it can be frustrating to have a heavier workload due to someone else being out of town for an extended time period keep in mind that you’ll go on vacation too. Employers expect you to take time off if it’s offered.
An expert from ManpowerGroup offered these thoughts about vacation time, “I would take all of the PTO you are given. If you get three weeks a year, take all three weeks. It’s important for you to have that balance, and establish this as a priority for your wellbeing. The only cautionary note would be to make sure you are not taking it all at once (unless they’ve told you this is OK), or during a “high season” when a lot of senior employees are off. You may need to be strategic about when you use your vacation time, to ensure adequate coverage for your team.“
Eventually you’re going to take time off, and you’ll put your team in the same spot you’re in now. Be patient and understanding with someone who takes a week off. Let them enjoy it, because you know you’ll want them to do the same for you when you use your paid time off.
In the end while this late season of summer may bring an increase in work load due to coworkers going on vacation it can be a fruitful time of professional growth. Take the time to work on improving team communication and learn as much as you can from the new tasks assigned to you. Remember, you will one day go invocation yourself. So be considerate of whoever takes time off.