Guidelines for Closing the Office for Vacation

Mature woman strolling on beach chatting on smartphone, Camaret-sur-mer, Brittany, France
••• Getty Images/Cultura/Uwe Umstaetter

Preparing your office for a temporary closure due to a vacation or other reason is as easy as following this checklist.  Done properly, your customers, vendors, and employees will be well aware of your scheduled business/office closure, and you can avoid angry customers and disgruntled employees upon your return. Additionally, you can also save some money. Customers will appreciate knowing the duration of the business being closed so that they're not frustrated by waiting for a response from your business while you're away.

Office Vacation Closure: Notify Employees, Customers, and Vendors

Make sure you notify key stakeholders in your company at least two to four weeks ahead of time. Employees can be notified/reminded using an insert in their paycheck. Customers can be notified on your website and via your automated attendant message on your phone system. Vendors (especially those with reoccurring delivery schedules) can be notified via email or regular postal mail.

Notify Security Personnel/Service

Send a memo to your security personnel or security service notifying them of the closing dates. Make sure your emergency contact list is up to date with key employee phone numbers.

Change Automated Attendant Greeting

Schedule your automated attendant greeting on your phone system to reflect that the office closed. Make sure you also state when the office will reopen. If you provide emergency services (i.e. heating and cooling, plumbing, etc.) be sure to tell your callers how to reach your answering service or your cell phone during the shutdown.

Notify Answering Service

If you use an answering service make sure to notify them of the dates that the office will be shut down and make sure your contact list is up to date with employee phone numbers that will be on call.

Change Voicemail Greetings and Create Auto Reply Emails

If your phone system allows external calls to ring directly to your employees' desks, then you need to make sure that they use a temporary or "Out of Office" voicemail greeting that lets the caller know that they are not in the office. Your employees should also let the caller know when they will return and what to do if they need immediate assistance while the office is closed for the holiday. Additionally, be sure to create an Out of Office email autoreply.

Reduce Thermostat

Save some energy and some money by setting back (or reprogramming) your office thermostat during the shutdown.

Servers Backup

If you have critical computers and servers, make sure the backup cycle runs properly before and after the shutdown. Reduce your exposure to a disaster by scheduling your offsite backup for an early pickup rather than waiting for after the holiday shutdown to be over.

Turn Off Office Equipment

  • Desk lights
  • Copiers
  • Calculators
  • Overhead lights
  • Shredders

Turn Off Computers & Peripherals

  • Computer
  • Monitor
  • Scanner
  • Printer

Do NOT Turn Off

  • Fax machines
  • Phone System
  • Server Computers
  • Heaters/Lights for Tropical Fish Tanks