Dreading Going Back to Work After Your Holiday? Make it Easy in 5 Simple Steps
Setting the ‘out of office’. Changing your teams status to ‘away’. All of these satisfying little rituals mean one thing – you’re off on holiday! Whether it’s a sun-drenched sojourn in Spain or a frigid fortnight in Finland, unplugging from the world of work to take some time away is an ideal way to recharge your batteries, ensuring you feel rested, refreshed, and ready to take on life’s next challenges.
But, we’re realistic. We know that even if you return and as zen as a Yogi master, you’ll have one thing on your mind once that plane touches down: how do you deal with the inevitable amount of unread emails and demands for urgent meetings that you know will await you upon your return? The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, and there are some simple, practical things you can do to make your return to work as pain-free as possible.
1. Give yourself a day to adjust
Are you one of those people who head straight back to work the day after returning from holiday, so as not to ‘waste’ more annual leave? If so, you’re asking for those cortisone levels to shoot through the roof. Think how much there is to do when you get back: unpack, sort all the washing, go food shopping – all the worst jobs, on the worst possible day. Booking an extra day at the end of your holiday to get all this done, as well as to relax and unwind, will pay dividends. You’ll find yourself slowly adjusting to normality throughout the day, reducing the shock to the system of heading back to working life. And make sure you don’t spend that extra day just doing boring chores, either; plan a movie night. Order a pizza. Do something to make the evening fun, so you’re not tempted to spend your time moping!
2. Tackle that bulging inbox strategically
730 unread emails is enough to make even the bravest amongst us buckle at the knees. But, there’s no need to get overwhelmed! At least a third of your emails will be queries that aren’t urgent, don’t require any action on your part, or have already been dealt with while you were away. As for the rest, briefly scan and pick out 20 which require your immediate attention, take a break, and repeat the process again. By the end of the day, things will be back under control, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. What’s more, make sure you’re not putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to get everything sorted on your first day back – receiving an email slightly later has never hurt anyone.
3. Add some fun and variety to your workday
You might be feeling a little strapped for cash after your holiday, or like you’ve indulged enough to last you the rest of the year, and that’s understandable. Nevertheless, try to pick something small that always makes you smile – maybe it’s a special sandwich you don’t have for lunch very often, perhaps it’s a bath bomb for a relaxing soak at the end of the day. Whatever it is, if it’ll put a spring in your step, treat yourself to it! If you commute into work, find a brand-new podcast to listen to. Alternatively, consider shaking up your routine permanently – join an exercise class after work, or commit to going for a walk every lunchtime. I know, it all sounds like hard work, but you’ll thank us once the endorphins kick in!
4. Schedule an update with your manager the morning you return
Of course, your manager is likely very busy, but most will be more than happy to oblige here. This has a couple of benefits: firstly, you’ll be able to tackle your first day back armed with all the information you need to confidently get stuck in. Secondly, because this is something that hardly any employees will do, it will demonstrate to your manager that you truly care about performing your role to the very best of your ability. To ensure your manager has the time free that you need, schedule a meeting before you leave, so it’s already in their calendar.
5. Take the time to appreciate your colleagues
You should never feel guilty about taking your annual leave, and chances are, your colleagues wouldn’t want you to. However, it’s almost certain that some of them have been picking up the slack while you’ve been away, so it’s a good idea to say thank you. This will mean a lot to them, and will positively impact your future working relationship. In addition, take the time to catch up with them to discover what you’ve missed while you’ve been away, office gossip and all! Having a good chat with your workmates is almost certain to cheer you up, and that’s not just speculation on our part, either: small talk at work has been scientifically proven to foster positive emotions, as well as contribute to overall wellbeing.
If you’ve tried every tip you can get your hands on and returning to work is still making you seriously unhappy, then this is an important warning sign that your current job isn’t right for you. Here at Gleeson, we know that absolutely everyone can find a job that they love, because that’s what we do, day in, day out! If your current position simply isn’t the right fit for you, no doubt you’ll have noticed plenty of other symptoms too: that weekend dread, spending your evenings worrying about work, constantly watching the clock when you’re in the office, and ending every day feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. If this sounds like you, we’ve got three simple words for you: life’s too short.
Is it time you made a change, and finally landed that dream job? Let us help you find it! We’ve thousands of positions available in industries such as accountancy, human resources, marketing and digital, IT, and many more. Alternatively, you can search all our positions here, or register with us.