If you are a full-time employee of the company we would like you to arrive rested and ready for our work day together. To this end we expect full-time employees to not use their off hours and vacations to work on side projects. If you are full-time, please focus full-time on us, and when not working, rest and enjoy. If you want to work for us and do side projects, consider moving to a part-time role.
Speaking of rest. We want everyone to take the weekend off, not work, rest and recreate - enjoy yourself. We are in this for the long haul. This isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. To foster this work life balance we want you to go into your weekend without a surprise backlog of work showing up on your door on Friday before, or worst, on the weekend. To eliminate the work surprises we ask that all status updates and reports, projects to be reviewed, and anything else that require time from your colleagues, or that will have an impact on their planning for the following week, be posted and over to them by Friday morning at 10am at the latest. The goal is to give everyone, everything they need to wrap up their week and set their plan for the following week, with no surprises, by end of day Friday. For greater certainty, if you have to distribute something to your colleagues get it to them before 10am Friday. And if you are late, sit on whatever it might be until Monday morning. Don’t let your delay cascade into your colleagues causing them to spend time on their weekend to review your stuff. We want everyone to have a free and relaxing weekend with no guilt to get through a pile of unexpected work that landed in their inbox.
To this end, we want the same thing to happen when you take vacation (time away). We want you to take it, we don’t want you to have to work because something unexpected came up, and more importantly, we don’t want you to feel obligated to work. With this in mind, and for the sake of those who are working while you are away, don’t login occasionally and drop a few work bombs (so to speak), and then sign off for another couple of days. Take your vacation. Trust your designates. Enjoy yourself.
So how much time away do you have? Depends up upon how long you have been a full-time employee;
- in your first 3 months with us we prefer that you don’t take time away other than public holidays,
- after 3 months you have 4 weeks (20 workdays) that are available to you on a prorated basis throughout the balance of your first year,
- after your first year of employment 6 weeks (30 workdays),
- after 2 years of employment 7 weeks (35 workdays), and
- after 4 years of employment 8 weeks (40 workdays).
If you work part-time we include 4% vacation pay with your regular earnings for your first 5 years of employment, and then 6% with your regular earnings after that.
It’s important to note that time away includes sick days, stat days, and holidays, and unused time away is not cumulative from one employment year to the next. It is up to you to track your time away and to stick to these guidelines.
Having a great time away requires work and planning. Don’t leave this planning to the last minute. Plan your time away at least one quarter in advance and coordinate with your peers to make sure that your team has coverage for when you want to be away. If your team doesn’t have coverage then you need to reschedule, or work something else out with the team. If the team confirms all is good now create your coverage doc and follow the checklist right at the top of it to make sure you have a no interrupt vacation with a smooth and easy return to work.
Speaking of return to work. We all know that feeling of dread anticipating going through all of the emails, slack messages, and all other forms of communication on that first day back. It can take hours to try and figure out what needs attention, and what doesn’t. We want to eliminate this altogether. If your colleagues have something that you need to review and deal with when you return they need to add it to the bottom of your coverage doc. So colleagues, whoever you may be, please don’t email whatever matter needs to be addressed to the person who is away. Let them enjoy that time without succumbing to looking at something that might have shown up on their phone. Add whatever it is to the bottom of their coverage doc and be assured that it will get priority attention when they return. And for the person returning from vacation, on day one back in the office, check that list, deal with anything on it, and then quickly scan and delete the mountain of other correspondence you may have been hit with, confidently knowing that nothing important will be missed if you delete the wrong thing.