An eclectic selection of thoughts from me, Mark Pinsent
The lost art of the holiday handover
Mobile technologies and the 'always connected' society bring innumerable benefits, there's no doubt. But they have their downsides too…mainly due to the fact that we're, umm, always connected. People moan about it, but we're our own worst enemies. The lost art of the holiday handover is a great example.
When I were a lad, before I was senior enough to qualify for any mobile technology (and, let's be honest, it was still a time when mobile phones were the preserve of the wealthy and mobile email a mere pipe dream) when you left work for your holiday your final task before leaving…generally undertaken as cleaners were collecting coffee cups and negotiating their way around the office with hoovers…was to write a comprehensive handover document for your team. This was your opportunity to either (a) show how efficient you'd been in getting all your actions done before taking a well-earned break or (and in my case far more likely) (b) dumping all your crappy work on someone else for a fortnight.
Nowadays, people find it much more easy to say…"I haven't done a handover doc, but I'll have the mobile and will check email now and then so if anything serious crops up, do give me a call…"
Being connected has made us lazy. I'm as guilty as the next. More so, probably. Hell, when I recently left the permanent employ of a big PR company I even told members of the team that they could call me if they had any questions about stuff I'd been involved in…
The only people that handovers are still done effectively are the more junior members of the team; those yet to be armed with smartarsephones. They probably enjoy their holidays more too.