If you're like most people, you probably don't give much thought to your notice period until you're ready to quit your job. But whether you're leaving on good terms or bad, it's important to understand your rights and obligations during this time.
The ins and outs of your current notice period: what you need to know
If you're thinking about quitting your job, it's important to know what your notice period is and how it works.
What is a notice period?
Your notice period is the amount of time you are required to give your employer before leaving your job. This can vary depending on your contract, company policy, or even the country you live in.
The duration of notice is not the same across all employees, so it is important for everyone to know their own length of notice. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a shorter notice period with your employer.
Significance of notice
It's important to read over your contract or employee handbook carefully so that you understand exactly what is expected of you during your notice period.
For example, some employers may require that you work out a certain amount of time before taking any vacation days. Others may have specific requirements for how much notice you need to give if you are resigning via email or letter.
In general, it's best to err on the side of caution and give as much notice as possible when quitting your job. This shows respect for your employer and gives them time to find a replacement for you. It also gives you time to tie up loose ends at work and transition smoothly into your new role (if applicable).
In depth: What is a notice period, its details and how does it all work?
A current notice period is the amount of time (usually specified in your contract) that an employee must give their employer before resigning from their position. This allows the employer time to find and train a replacement for the departing employee. In some cases, an employer may waive the notice period if they agree to release the employee early.
Your notice period is thus the amount of time between when you give notice of your resignation and your last day of work.
In most cases, your notice is two weeks; however, some employers may require more or less notice depending on company policy.
If you have a contract with your employer, be sure to check the provisions regarding notice before giving any formal notification of quitting.
What happens when I serve out my notice period?
During your notice period, you are still considered an employee of the company and are subject to all company policies and procedures. This means that if there is anything in your employment agreement that prohibits working for a competitor during this time, or requires returning company property upon termination (such as a laptop), then those provisions will still apply even though you've resigned.
Why do some employees not have to come to work while still serving their current notice period?
There are a few reasons why might be the case that companies will ask that employees not come into work after they've given their notice.
The first is that the employer and employee may have agreed, either verbally or in writing, that the employee will not be required to come into work during their notice period. This is often done as a way to allow the employee to transition out of their role more smoothly, and to avoid any awkwardness or tension that could arise from having them continue working alongside their colleagues during this time.
Another reason why an employer might allow an employee to stay home during their notice period is if they feel that doing so would be in the best interests of company morale. For example, if an individual has been particularly disruptive or difficult to work with leading up to their departure, it may be better for everyone involved if they're not present in the office during their final days. Especially if the employee adds to a toxic or poisonous work culture, then HR will want to minimize straining relations between the departing employee and their soon-to-be former colleagues.
Ultimately, whether or not an employer requires an individual to come into work during their notice period is something that will vary on a case-by-case basis. If you're unsure about what your specific situation entails, it's always best to err on the side of caution and assume that you should report for your shifts as usual until you hear otherwise from your boss.
So don't be surprised if HR asks you to start working from home or take vacation days for the remainder of your employment. And although it may seem unfair, keep in mind that by resigning you have essentially ended the employer/employee relationship - meaning they owe you nothing beyond what is laid out in your contract or required by law (like final pay). It's also important to note that while you are at home during this period, you are technically still employed.
What to do (and not to do) during your current notice period
It is important to remember that you are still an employee of your company during your notice period, and as such, you should continue to conduct yourself in a professional manner. This means adhering to all company policies and procedures, including attendance and punctuality standards. This means continuing to come into work on time, doing your job to the best of your ability, and not calling out sick unless you truly are sick.
Additionally, you should avoid using company resources for personal gain or engaging in any activities that could be construed as harmful to the company's interests. This includes using company property or equipment for personal projects or taking home office supplies without permission.
On the other hand, you may find yourself with some extra time on your hands during your notice period, so it can be a good opportunity to tie up loose ends at work and get organized for your transition out of the company.
You can also use this time to start networking and exploring new career opportunities. It is important to maintain a positive attitude and be respectful towards your co-workers – even if you may be feeling frustrated or bitter about leaving the company. Your colleagues can tell by your body language and posture if you're still a willing worker. Sit straight, put on a smile and focus at work until your very last day of service. Remember, you never know when you may need them as a future reference down the road!
Finally, don't slack off just because you're leaving - again, this will only reflect poorly on you and could damage your chances of getting a good reference from your current employer.
Not sure what to do with your remaining time? Here's everything you need to know about your current notice period.
If you have been asked to leave your job, or if you are leaving of your own accord, it is important to make the most of your notice period. As your final days at work approach, it is normal to feel a mix of emotions. You may be sad to leave colleagues and friends behind, anxious about what the future holds, or excited to start a new chapter in your life. No matter how you are feeling, there are some things you can do to make the most of your final days on the job.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your notice period:
- Start finding a new job and filling up as many relevant job applications as possible: Finding jobs should be the first thing on your list because there is often a long waiting time. Employers need to filter good candidates, put shortlisted applicants through interviews and time is needed to create, approve and produce job offers. Unless you are outright fired from your seat, then you should start applying for jobs as soon as you know your time at your current job on a countdown timer. Don't wait until you submit your resignation letter or start job seeking during your notice period - grasp all the time you have.
- Give adequate notice: When possible, give your employer at least two weeks’ notice that you will be leaving. This gives them time to find a replacement for you and helps ensure a smooth transition. Before leaving your job for good, make sure that all of your projects are complete and that everything is organized for whoever takes over from you. This will help ease the transition for both yourself and those who remain at the company.
- Be professional: Even if you are leaving because you didn’t like your job or boss, it is important to remain professional during your notice period. Avoid badmouthing anyone or burning any bridges – you never know when you may need a reference from these people in the future.
- Train someone new: If possible, train someone new before you leave so that they can take over your duties seamlessly when you’re gone. This will show that you're committed to doing what's best for the company even after you're no longer employed there.
- Take time to say goodbye: Make sure you take the time to say goodbye to your co-workers and let them know how much you have appreciated working with them over the years. This is also a good time to exchange contact information so that you can keep in touch after you leave.
- Reflect on your time: Use these last few days as an opportunity to reflect on all that you have accomplished during your time at this job. Think about what went well and what challenges you faced along the way – this can be helpful as you move forward in your career and use the info to update your resume.