I just got an out of office from a fellow community manager and it got me thinking about vacation time. I don't know about you, but with so many balls in the air at any given point in time, I find it hard to plan for and actually take a true vacation. I feel like I can relate to my teacher mom and friends who have to come up with lesson plans to make sure everything runs smoothly while I'm out! I'm curious if anyone has some advice for planning for taking time away from your community. Do you have a back-up in the office that helps you out while you're gone or is your community self-sufficient enough to be without you for a few days?
I have vacation time planned next month and I will be completely disconnecting. I need to do this at least once (preferably twice) a year for an entire week to maintain my health and sanity. Staying organized and having access to automation rules is a HUGE part of what makes that possible, but I do train at least one staff member to do a few basic things while I'm out:
-Read all discussions, blogs, libraries.
-Follow up on posts with no replies.
-Check and resolve moderation issues.
-Remove posts and block users if needed (extremely rare).
-Respond to emails.
-Understand how to solve simple problems (login issues, adjusting notification settings, etc).
-Know who to contact and where to access the detailed procedures in the event that I would be eaten by a shark while drinking pina coladas on the beach. (And yes...I took the time to put together detailed procedures for what I do and update them once a year because I want to be able to leave once in awhile without worrying!)
Remember, it's only a week (or two, if you're lucky). You'll have some things to catch up on once you're back, but you'll avoid burnout and return feeling refreshed, full of new ideas, and ready to take on the world. It's worth it.
I agree with what Ginny shared. I'll share another tip given this since I've just returned from vacation. I would strongly suggest that you have your back up start a few days or a week AHEAD of when you leave for your vacation. Even after I have painstakingly written out detailed instructions with screen shots and had training hand off sessions, there were parts that my back up didn't understand (and therefore didn't reply to users). If your backup is already versed in the tool/processes, I'd still recommend they start a few days before you leave the office, because I've found that no matter how much effort you put into writing instructions/training, there will be questions.
Code of Conduct
© 2017 CommunityManagement.org
Site design by eConverse Social Media