'TIS THE SEASON FOR TIME-OFF TIPS - Workplace Expert Offers Eight Helpful
Hints for Stress-Free Holiday Breaks

TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - During the holiday season, we all may make questionable choices, like wearing knitted snowman sweaters, overindulging at the dinner table or leaving shopping until the last minute. But according to administrative staffing firm OfficeTeam, the decisions professionals make before going on vacation can mean the difference between a relaxing respite and a harried holiday.

"Taking time off provides an opportunity for employees to recharge and come back to work refreshed," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "However, those who don't lay the proper groundwork before they leave may find themselves constantly connected to the office while on holiday breaks or overloaded when they return."

OfficeTeam offers eight vacation tips for the holidays:

    1.  Carve out time in advance. Coordinate vacation dates with your team
        as early as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts or a lack of
        project coverage. Be sure to let your coworkers and other business
        contacts know when you'll be out. If taking on your tasks is a burden
        to colleagues, bring in temporary professionals to help while you're
    2.  Wrap it up. Use your out-of-office features wisely by including an
        alternate contact on your e-mail or voice-mail notices. This ensures
        people get immediate assistance and assignments stay on track.
    3.  Make a list, check it twice. Minimize work disruptions by creating a
        detailed record of active projects and their status. Also, show
        colleagues where your files can be found.
    4.  Manage your spir-I.T. More than a few employees have returned to work
        after a vacation only to discover they are unable to log in to their
        computers. Prevent this from happening to you by changing any soon-
        to-expire passwords before you leave.
    5.  Trim your inbox. Examine the storage capacity on your e-mail inbox to
        ensure you have plenty of space to receive large-size files while
        you're away. In addition, clean out your voice-mail box.
    6.  Avoid boxing yourself in. If you must check in with the office while
        on your break, let coworkers know in advance the specific times you
        will be accessible. Making yourself too available can detract from
        the benefits of taking a vacation.
    7.  Give the gift of thanks. Express your appreciation to colleagues who
        take over key projects while you're away. By providing all the
        information they need to complete tasks ahead of time, you'll make it
        easy for them to cover for you. Also offer to return the favour when
        they're out.
    8.  Ho. Ho. Hope for a smooth return. Avoid scheduling meetings for the
        morning of your return so you can spend the time getting up to speed
        on assignments and catching up on e-mail.

Hosking noted that creating a pre-vacation checklist can provide peace of mind for employees before their break. "It's easy to overlook minor details when you're on your way out of the office," he said. "Having a written record of tasks that must be completed prior to your departure can help you tie up loose ends and make the transition back to work more manageable."

    About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam provides businesses with the temporary administrative professionals they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and support existing staff. The company has more than 325 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com

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