When most of us are at work, our minds will usually drift off towards thoughts of summer holidays to distant locations.
But while we are on holiday, most of us will spend a lot of the time thinking or, more accurately, worrying about work.
For those left behind, having to cope with the added workload while colleagues are topping up their tans is another issue and the overlap of staff absences can last throughout the summer.
The most common fears are about who will take care of the workload and staff being left to clear up a mess when they return.
The key to reducing holiday problems is preparation, so try these tips to make sure the only thing you need to worry about is buying sun tan lotion.
>> Make sure everyone who needs to knows when you are away and for how long.
>> Delegate specific responsibilities to specific
people. Sell this as an opportunity for staff to develop their skills.
>> If co-workers are taking on your responsibilities in your absence, make sure you do the same for them when they are on holiday. Treat added responsibilities as your own.
>> Set your out-of-office auto reply on your mobile phone and e-mail. Make sure it includes contact details for an alternative person in your absence.
>> Prepare your diary for your return then stick to it. Slot in a review meeting so you can go through what happens during your absence with staff.
>> If you have any ongoing problems that are bothering you, try to sort them out before you go, or fix a time to sort them out when you return.
>> Finally, don't take your laptop, BlackBerry or any other kind of mobile communication with you. A holiday means a holiday.