It is very near to Christmas and I find things get so hectic around here in our therapy practice. There seems so much to do and so little time, and the lead up to Christmas gets a little frantic. But why?
The main reason, is staff take leave, which is not a bad thing, but their spot has to be filled whilst they are away, or others pick up the work of those on leave. It works best when everyone just gets in and helps out. I like to remind my staff about some key items that need to be instigated before they go on leave to keep things running smoothly in their absence:
1. Out of office reply – it is a good idea to set up an out of office reply on your emails. That way, if someone emails you whilst you are on leave, they are notified that you are not at work. I find it really interesting that nowadays we like immediate replies to our questions. If you don’t have an out of office reply, then people can be sitting wondering why you are not emailing back which is not good for your brand! It is a good idea to let people know if you will be checking your emails whilst on leave, or what they can do in your absence, for example, is there anyone else they could contact that might be able to help them with their enquiry?
2. In the same situation, making sure you adjust your phone message to indicate to people that you are on leave and when you plan to return.
3. Make a reminder note for yourself that when you are back you change your phone message to reflect the end of leave and your return to normal hours, or that you switch off the out of office reply on the email as it can be easy to forget and leave it running!
4. Tidying desks and workspaces are sometimes hard to find time to do, but you will definitely appreciate the effort when you return from leave and everything is in order. This can include things like tidying the actual physical space, but also tidying computer files, ensuring your to-do list is complete and those little extra things like wiping down your computer screen, taking items off the noticeboard that have been there too long, wiping over the phone (which gets covered in makeup often here in our clinic!).
These four little things will ensure that your clients have an understanding that you are away and when you will be back, and help you fight off the back to work blues after holidays (i.e. you will get to work and be so happy at your lovely flash looking clean workspace!)