Recently I was gone from the office for a couple of weeks on vacation. Going on vacation can be a double-edged sword. You really want to go and have a great time and not think about work (which is what a vacation is for), yet as the vacation draws to a close you dread going back to your desk to see the piles of work that has been waiting for you while you were gone. It is the dreaded catch-up game, and by the time you have caught up you feel like you need another vacation.
I am a firm believer in having employees cross-trained in all duties of the office. For big corporations this would be difficult, but they should have one or two people in every department that know the duties of their co-workers so they could easily cover for them when they are gone.
As a manager having other staff members that can take on at least 80% of your duties while you are gone would be wonderful. It does take time and training protocols for staff members to learn other job tasks, than their own, but the payoff is well worth it.
Not only is it great to go on vacation and know that most of your work will be done, but it also it a smart business practice that it should never happen where only one person knows how to do certain job tasks. Business owners have been held hostage when only one person knows how to do very important tasks for the company. With cross-training not only is everyone covered if they go on vacation, but also if there is an unexpected absence. The business can carry on as usual and does not come to a halt become someone is gone.
My vacation was very nice and it was really great to come back to work and have most of my tasks already done. If you do not cross-train in your office maybe it is time to think about doing it.
Have a great Monday!