There is so much going on this time of year. The holidays, football season, using up that unused vacation time and doesn’t it seem like there will be family in town for the next two months solid? With all this extra stuff going on, who’s going to run the office when the Chiefs go 9-0? There’s tailgating to do, friends to see and a dozen different dips to make!
It’s a no-brainer that everyone in the office would rather be at a holiday party, headed out of town or meeting with friends and family. Just because all of this awesome stuff happens around this time of year, doesn’t mean that business stops. The buck stops with management and they need to make sure that work is getting done. There are ways to work together to get out of the office.
Choose Your Battles
While I’m an advocate of not taking “no” for an answer, there are sometimes when you just need to fold, and this is a two-way street.
Employees need to realize when it’s just not a good time to take off of work. Sure, you may have all the time off in the world saved up, but leaving your team in the lurch is never okay. Choose your time off wisely by keeping a finger on the pulse of important projects and deadlines. Even asking for time off that is obviously not ideal can make workers look like they just don’t care.
Managers need get real about time off. If the reasons for not letting someone take requested time off are simply due to policy, that is not reasonable. For instance, if someone requests time off a week in advance and the policy is two weeks, this shouldn’t be the only reason for turning down the time off. If you really could make do without them and they have the time coming, don’t be a jerk about it. Give a little, and you’ll get a lot in return.
Propose a Plan
Depending on the duration of the time requested off, it might be beneficial to come up with a schedule or plan that guarantees that responsibilities are met.
Employees are more likely to get the response they want if they can guarantee that nothing is going to fall through the cracks while they’re gone. Whether this means working ahead, or working remotely, there should be some sort of plan to get ensure that business runs smoothly for everyone.
Managers should feel comfortable asking for such a plan. Once employees have proven that they can come through on their commitments, this may eventually not even be an issue. It is a lot easier to approve time off when you know the work is going to get done.
See Things From Their Perspective
We don’t have a magic mirror giving us a glimpse into the world of our co-workers and managers, but if you try to see things from each other’s perspective, it could make a world of difference.
Employees, if your time doesn’t get approved, don’t just assume it’s because you have the worst boss in the world and she never wants you to have fun. Odds are that this is not the only reason. You may have no idea what is coming up for your department. Instead of making assumptions, ask if there is something that can be done or if you can take the pressure off in an area. The offer of help might be enough to change their mind, and the actual help might free up that time for you. You have to give to get.
Managers, sometimes it is easier to just say no. You have a ton of deadlines coming up and you will actually need their support. Stop for one minute and see if anything can be done. If they don’t offer, maybe you should ask. “If you want this time, I need this from you.” Making it work is often as easy as taking a look at the workload and finding out where people will compromise with you.
Keep a foot in both worlds and see what can be done to make this season incredible for both work and home life. Isn’t that the point?! This is in fact what everyone wants; you simply have to work together and keep everyone’s perspective in mind, including the organization as a whole.