When a majority of staff is out, the biggest challenges managers face are:
1. The work still needs to get done.
2. They have to keep things interesting and fun because there is a lower energy level.
If there normally are 50 people in the office and now there are 30, your office is going to be a little quieter and potentially a little slower. And while managers have to think about ways to keep people engaged, it's also a great opportunity for an employee to step up and help their manager create a fun environment, and get the work done.
Whether it's organizing a team potluck or activity, or offering to help on a new initiative that came in, there are things employees can do that can add a lot of value, which may not be accessible with a full office.
Those working should use their time wisely. When a majority of the team is out, it gives an employee more one-on-one time to spend with their manager. Don't always be in such a rush to get out just because everyone else is off. You may be able to spend more time bonding with other coworkers and other leaders in the organization.
How you approach this slower time is really based on the lens you look at it through. You can either look at it as if nothing is going on, or you look at it as an opportunity for you to take advantage of some time with others you normally wouldn't get; as an opportunity to work on new projects that come up while other are away, which have a high probability of growing your career.
Managers are going to be more relaxed too, so there's an opportunity to get through some big obstacles or ask questions about something you need clarity on. For instance, if there is a part of your job or a part of the business you don't understand, this is a great opportunity to go up to your manager during the dog days of summer and ask for some time to go over it.
Don't think that because people are on vacations that you can/should act like that, too. If your manager sees you at the office grinding it out when everyone else is gone, it puts you in a different light.
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