I’m on vacation. I arranged for other freelancers to help my clients while I am spending time with family. And today I spent about an hour working.
Mostly I was sending files to others so they could make changes for the clients. Some of the time was spent on the phone with the freelancers, helping one understand the task to be done, and helping another understand the new-to-her proofing system.
I didn’t really mind taking the time, but it was lucky I was available for calls. Yesterday I was in the clouds at 14,000 feet on top of Pikes Peak with a phone with a dead battery. Talk about being out of the office! Then again, my clients have all been notified of my vacation dates (with a day buffer on each end) and that:
I will be checking email periodically but may not have access every day. If you need me to send files to you or to another designer during this time, please plan on a 24-48 hour turnaround.
Lessons learned so far?
1. Clients need lots of reminders of my upcoming out of office time. Next time I will include a specific ‘call to action’: Put these dates on your calendar! And including the info in my email signature in the weeks leading up to vacation would probably help, too.
2. When training someone on a new system, don’t just show them. Have the person do all the tasks several times to be sure they really understand how to use the system.
3. Understand that the way clients communicate may not make sense to someone who hasn’t worked with them before. Encourage both clients and the people helping them to ask each other lots of questions to be sure that all tasks and projects are fully explained and understood.
How do you handle taking vacation time as a freelancer?