Paid vacation is one of the most important employee benefits, trumped only by healthcare, according to a 2018 study from the US Travel Association. That means employees prioritize vacation time over retirement plans, flexible work options, bonuses, and sick leave.
With the holidays fast approaching, you and your colleagues are likely itching to cash in your vacation funds. Employers are often flooded with time-off requests in November and December. As AAA reports, tens of millions of Americans travel for Thanksgiving every year, to say nothing of the myriad additional holidays that fall around this time.
As employees start vying for those coveted days off, things can get tense and chaotic in the office. However, with a few simple hacks, you can make the holiday season run much more smoothly for everyone involved:
1. Make Sure Your Time-Off Request Is Reasonable
Eighty-four percent of offices don’t close shop during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to SHRM. You and your colleagues may want some rest and relaxation, but you’ll need to balance that with your company’s need for people to keep its operations going.
When it comes to what constitutes a “reasonable” time-off request, HR expert Mikaela Kiner recommends first understanding the norm within your company. Is it unheard of to take more than a few days, or is the culture more flexible?
Another thing to consider is teaming up with colleagues when mapping out your requests. This is especially important if you plan to step away for a long period of time. Aside from pushing your rainy day fund to the limits, you don’t want to take advantage of your employer’s vacation policy.
“I always think it’s great if your team is set up where people can cover for each other, so maybe consider informally figuring that out with a colleague,” Kiner says. “That way, by the time you go to the boss, you’re coming with a solution. You’re saying, ‘I have 10 days off, but it’s going to be fine because I’ve arranged coverage with somebody.’”
If you aren’t planning on going entirely off the grid during your vacation, that’s another detail that could sweeten the deal for your boss. Read more here…