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Office Auntie: I hate hols – at least other people’s

26 Mar 08

I hate this time of year - suddenly everyone wants to go on holiday and all at the same time

Dear Office Auntie

I hate this time of year. Suddenly everyone wants a holiday and they all want to go at the same time. Sometimes I feel like saying no one can have a holiday; sometimes I feel like letting them all go together and struggling on alone. I know I have to sort out a rota fairly and efficiently but the moment

I try someone becomes a special case. We are a small team, everyone is necessary and it is not easy to bring in temporary staff.

Auntie says

As a small team with need for complete cover, you are all going to have to work together to maintain the work-life balance. Sit down round a table and sort out the priorities. Maybe a good way would be to award points. Children of school age means, say, two points per child, being single but having to make arrangements around another person means, say, two points. If someone agrees to make a sacrifice, say a keen skier agrees to cover key holiday periods in summer in exchange for free choice of ski time, they get priority points. Whatever you do, the team must reach a consensus and the agreement in the meeting must not lead on to muttering outside. Nor must the same person always be the one to come last in choice – and that includes you. Consider too the possibility of training up one further person, perhaps a trainee, to offer overall cover. Maybe you can find someone recently retired who would like the chance to build up funds and stay in touch.

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