We’re officially in the holiday season, and with that comes vacation days, half days, and early office closings. Do you know how to properly prepare? Allow us to help! Check out this out-of-office checklist for association pros: 1. Let your coworkers know in advance (and remind them as the time gets closer) It’s crucial to give your coworkers plenty of notice when you’re planning to be out of the office. Not only is it respectful, but it gives people plenty of time to prepare for your absence (in case they need to move around deadlines, take on added responsibilities, rearrange meetings, etc.). But don’t rely on just one notice to ensure everyone’s aware of your upcoming time off. Remind them one or two times, particularly as the dates get closer. 2. Schedule an out-of-office auto email reply Before you leave for vacation, particularly if you won’t be checking email, it’s important to schedule an out-of-office auto email reply. That way, people won’t panic (or email you multiple times) if and when they don’t hear from you. Out-of-office emails eliminate confusion and set expectations for when you’ll be responding. For tips on how to create an out-of-office email, click here. 3. Clean out your email inbox and voicemail box before you leave We all know how overwhelming it can be to come back from vacation and see a nearly-full email inbox and/or voicemail box. You pretty much just want to sink in your chair at that point. But to prevent that experience from being too terribly bad, consider doing a little pre-vacation clean up. Clean out your email inbox and voicemail box before heading out. That way, when you come back, there will be way less emails and voicemails demanding your attention. 4. Schedule one final “team sync” Either on the last day before you head out or the day before your last day, schedule one final meetup with your team. It can be as short as five minutes, especially if you’ve already covered everything, but having that face-to-face contact will give people one final opportunity to ask questions and get everything squared away. 5. Prepare a return agenda If you can spare 20-30 minutes before heading out to put together a return agenda, you’ll make your actual return MUCH easier. Rather than spending half an hour trying to figure out where to even begin, you can come in, reference your list, and hit the ground running. (Doesn’t that sound way better?) Now if you’re using an association management system, that can make your time out of the office (and hey, even IN the office), much easier. Not sure what an AMS is or how it can make your life easier? Check out our free guide below!