Prevent Empty Office Syndrome, Coordinate Summer Vacation Schedules

Published Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2:04 PM

Summer 2011 kicks off June 21. Have you planned your summer vacation yet?

With the lazy, hazy days of summer fun beckoning, it's officially time to start working on time off from work. Vacations are needed respites, crucial for both boosting morale and reenergizing workers.

But before you book your beach getaway, take care to coordinate vacation schedules. A smart vacation policy can prevent empty-office syndrome in August when productivity grinds to a halt and can also keep employees from feeling overworked while colleagues are off recreating.

Having a transparent vacation policy keeps employers and employees on the same page. Clearly articulating policies and keeping track of days off is key. So is formalizing responsibility for work delegated during absences.

Here are some tips and resources to help coordinate a vacation program. Ideas to consider include:

  • Figure out the maximum number of people that can be off at one time.
  • Require vacation time to be booked a set time in advance.
  • Reward seniority if too many employees want the same weeks off.
  • When summer is your busy time, consider offering bonuses or incentive programs for working the entire summer.
  • Schedule vacation blackout dates (days that nobody can take off).
  • Offer vacation alternatives, such as three day weekends rather than larger blocks of time.

Looking for more assistance in creating comprehensive vacation policies for your work place? Read Developing Vacation and Sick Leave Policies  and How to Set a Workplace Vacation Policy. 

Finally, remember that the best vacation is one actually taken! So be sure to use those accrued vacation days before they disappear.


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