Last week the Wall Street Journal posted a fantastic article on holiday etiquette for office workers. While Christmas is just a few days away, it’s important to remember that you can’t just drop work completely. Some things can’t wait until the New Year, and if you’re on the clock it’s bad form to turn up late and spend the work day filling out holiday cards instead of tackling your in box. Below are a few reminders mentioned in the article, along with a few of my own.
-Observe your boss’s vacation. If the big fish has “gone fishin’,” allow him or her to relax instead of running to them with minor questions. If there is a critical situation going on, you should reach out, but otherwise use your best judgment or consult the person who is second in command. Also, don’t wait until your boss is halfway out the door to bring up important work issues. If you need direction or have an announcement, alert them as soon as you can and ahead of their vacation.
If you happen to be in charge, respect your employees’ vacation time and don’t barrage them with work emails and calls during their absence.
-Show up on time. I’ve heard so many friends brag that since their boss has left on vacation, they’ve been crawling into work at noon and spending the day online shopping and checking Facebook. Trust me, the boss has eyes and ears out there and this kind of slacking off doesn’t go unnoticed. Even if work is slow, use the time to be productive, even if that means reorganizing your desk or brainstorming new ideas for the next quarter. You can also use the time to network, learn more about your industry, or help out a colleague.
-Give people notice of your vacation. There’s nothing more annoying than working on an important project with someone and then suddenly getting their vacation auto-responder when you email them. Taking leave is understandable, but have the courtesy to alert your contacts on any pending projects that you will be out of the office. At least two or three days is recommended. I like to touch base with my clients before the holidays just to make sure that there is nothing they need before I go away.
Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!