How to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly When You Are Out of Office

Do you worry that the ship will sink if you step away from work for a well-deserved vacation?

Do you ever fear business will come to a screeching halt should you suddenly be called away for a personal emergency?

Whether planned or not, leaders sometimes need time away from their job at the helm. And they shouldn’t feel bad about it. Sometimes we just need a mental break. Other times life forces us to take a break. That said, it’s smart to develop plans that support operations and management when you’re not there to handle your responsibilities directly. Regardless of why you’re stepping back from your job for a bit of time, this kind of proactive planning will provide peace of mind for you and those you lead. Build your “out of office” plan and, for a time, your business should be able to run itself.

When building your plan, keep these considerations in mind:

1. Have A Team You Trust

This all goes back to good hiring and making sure you’ve got the right people on board and in the right positions. While there are many reasons why you want to hire right, it all boils down to choosing people you can trust, particularly in regard to management, operations and financials. When you trust your team, you know they’ve got you covered should you step out of the office for longer than a few days. Business should be running as usual—or pretty close to it. Stress levels shouldn’t have shot through the roof. And the pile of work upon your return? It won’t be too tall if you’ve got a team of direct reports you can trust to help manage things in your absence.

2. Assign Roles And Responsibilities

Set aside some time to really think about who will do what when you’re out of the office. Not everyone on your team is going to have the skillset required for executive leadership so consider to whom you will delegate your key roles and responsibilities. Develop and communicate a plan that provides clarity to your direct reports. Take these steps and you will increase overall productivity while you are out.

3. Set The Protocol For Decision-Making

Even if you trust your team and have assigned roles and responsibilities to your direct reports, decision-making can sometimes be a bit tricky for them, particularly if those decisions are sudden, big ones. Foresee the possibility and decide for yourself how you want decision-making handled. It may be that your team makes big decisions while you’re gone. In that case, you need to be Ok with that and own your choice to empower them in such a way. However, you may want them to contact you for direction instead. Whatever works best for you, just let your people know what they’re supposed to do so there’s no confusion.

Is your team prepared to take care of business if you were away from the office for two weeks?


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