How to put together a great work handover

Workplace insights and culture
Cheerful businesswomen shows a temp worker the ropes in the office. They are reviewing documents

With the festive period fast approaching, it’s likely you’re preparing to go on leave over the next few weeks. There’s nothing worse than leaving your colleagues in the lurch while you go off and enjoy an overseas jaunt, as it’s both unfair on them and will result in disarray when you come back! A work handover is one of the most important aspects of preparing for a holiday, so we’ve put together a checklist to make sure everything runs smoothly while you’re away.

Write up an overview of your weekly tasks

A great place to start when writing up a handover is to list your weekly tasks; if your holiday is longer than a week, this is essential. During the week before you go away, make a note of all the recurring tasks that must be done from Monday to Friday, in order of priorities. Remember, your colleagues aren’t going to complete your role in its entirety, so make sure that you highlight priorities and don’t include tasks that can wait until you’re back. By making this list as you go through the week, you’ll avoid putting yourself under any unnecessary stress before you leave, and are unlikely to miss anything important.

Create step-by-step instructions for complicated processes

If there are any specific processes to be followed, make sure you provide detailed instructions. If possible, make a list of these processes and find time to sit down with the person taking over to talk them through it. Where possible, use screengrabs or even record your screen while you go through the process to ensure the task will be done properly.

Two colleagues talking while sitting at a desk


Alongside a breakdown of the priority tasks and processes to be undertaken, it’s important that you provide as much information as possible. This section should contain names and details of anyone externally who may be in contact regarding a project and any issues you can foresee that your team should be aware of. In addition, include examples of any email enquiries they should expect to receive on your behalf, and where they can find extra information. Keep these segmented depending on which project or task they refer to, and dot point the details so it’s not overwhelming!

Review with your colleagues

If there’s time, sit down and go through your job handover with your team so they can ask you any questions. Also, it’s important that they know what will be expected of them, so this chat will alleviate any undue stress or fears around what they must complete.

As one of the best PA recruitment agencies in London, we know how important work-life blend is to ensure you’re as productive as possible! Here’s a blog post on why you should take all your annual leave, along with insider tips on the best hotels to choose in 2020! Happy holidays!

Jenna Glen Author Jenna Glen Tiger Recruitment Team

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