6 July 2008

Where is everybody? Setting up an office vacation calendar

It is important for management to know who is going to be away from the office, especially during the summer when everyone is planning vacation time. But it is also important for assistants to know who is in or you may find yourself being the only assistant in the office with six managers all scrambling and needing something done urgently.

Keeping an up-to-date vacation calendar is important so these overlaps are anticipated and in some cases vacations have to be re-scheduled. This should be done a few months before the summer rush begins. Replacements will have to be sorted out and work priorities assigned. A team environment comes in handy at this time so the assistants can plan to cover each other. This way there is little disruption to the normal office workflow.

Setting up a calendar in Word is probably the easiest way to do it and everyone can see at a glance who is going to be away.

To open a calendar in Word 2003 do the following:

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. On the New Document task pane, under General Templates, click the Other Documents tab.
  3. Double-click Calendar Wizard.
  4. Follow the steps in the Wizard.

In Word 2007 the instructions are:

  1. Click on the Office Button in the top left-hand corner, click New.
  2. Click on Calendars on the left hand side and then you will see you have a choice of calendar years and styles to choose from. It is that simple.
I would suggest that someone in your office be assigned the task of canvassing everyone for their vacation dates and then type the names in the appropriate blocks. If one person is not responsible, you may find many people are duplicating the same task and each doesn’t know the other is already doing it.