By Dale Western on 20 October 2014

You may love your job - you may hate your job. You may be even be entirely ambivalent about it. But whichever way you look at it, you've got to keep things ticking over while you're on your holiday - and that can lead to some stressful times in the office before you leave.

We're a team that loves to travel, often to the far-flung corners of the world, so plenty of the Columbus Direct crew have often headed off for weeks at a time in search of adventure. They've given us some hints and tips on how to manage your workload before you head off, so when you hit the airport you're feeling stress-free and totally relaxed.

Kate from Finance:

"Start planning your extra work early. Take five minutes to jot down what you need to do, how long it'll take you, and how much time (realistically!) you'll need. That way you can have a better idea of what needs to be done. And don't cut corners - you want to be able to hit the ground running when you get back, not panic."

James from Marketing:

"Weirdly, I always check my emails one last time at the airport, despite the fact my Out of Office will have been on for about 12 hours previously. It's just a last-minute thing I do that's averted disaster a few times. It's not to everyone's taste, though!"

Steph from Admin:

"I went to Kenya for two weeks last year and when I was trying to get through all of my work, someone noticed I was struggling. The entire team chipped in to offer me help wherever they could, which was wonderful. I was so grateful. My advice is to ask for help if you need it - most people will say yes!"

Vicky from Editorial:

"I recommend staying organised. Make sure that your desk is clutter-free, and that you've always got a bottle of water on the go. And always, always make time for a break, even if you can't take a full hour. Just a walk around the block and feeling the sun on your face can perk you up - don't be fooled into thinking that chaining yourself to your desk will help."

Josh from Finance:

"I'm a bit of a perfectionist (although my wife has labelled me a 'control freak'. Hmm). Before we went off on our honeymoon I was determined to clear my to-do list and get everything done so I could fully enjoy my holiday. I worked late once or twice in order to feel 100% happy about the job I was leaving behind; it was a bit lonely, but I ordered a takeaway and got on with it. And I didn't think about work once when we were away."

Mel from Retention:

"Listening to music while I'm working really helped me; I just use the one earphone and pop on some 80s classics. I always get more done when I'm listening to Michael Jackson. Don't ask me why."

Danny from HR:

"A few years ago, working for another company, I returned home from my holiday and logged on to my emails the day before I was due to come back to work. I'd forgotten to do something and I'd received a fairly waspish email from a disgruntled colleague, but my manager had seen it and let me know when I returned that everything was fine. My advice? Be kind to yourself - you're only human. Just do your best to get everything done before you leave - you can't do any better than that."

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