Dani’s Declassified Guide to Taking Time Off

This month’s blog post is focused on taking time off for vacation or other occasions. Taking time from work should not make you feel guilty as paid days off are part of your total compensation, just like your benefits of a 401k or wellness rewards are. It can be nice to disconnect too, but it is important to communicate to your team prior to leaving for planned Paid Time Off (PTO) like a vacation. We will go through my advice regarding leading up to PTO as well as what you do when you return.

Before Time Off:

• Schedule PTO as your office or group expects you to. This can vary from sending an email to your supervisor to request the days off, creating a calendar invite of when you will be on PTO, and including your supervisor on it, to many more. Personally, we have a shared Outlook calendar for our group that we are to include on the invite when we will be out on PTO on our own calendar.

• If you have floating holidays as part of your total compensation, I recommend that you use them up first before using PTO since these are typically “use them or lose them.”

• Since you are most likely working on projects with people other than just your supervisor, make sure to also communicate to all those you are working on projects with that you will be out. I typically remind them a few times in the weeks leading up to my PTO.

• Set an “Out of Office” email response! Something as simple as “Thank you for your message. I am away from my desk until 2/20/2023. I will respond when I am back.” If you have more questions about this, please let me know.

During Time Off:

Nothing! To truly utilize your time off and if you follow the tips above to prepare, you should not be doing anything work-related during your time off. Enjoy the time disconnecting and spending time with the people you are with.

Photo from my 2023 trip to Denver, Colorado

After Time Off:

On your first work day back, I recommend that you block off at least an hour on your calendar to go through all the emails you received while you were out of the office.

Any questions about taking time off? Please send us an email at danitheengineer.blog@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

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