Reacclimatising to Normality
Going back into work after a gloriously wonderful holiday can be a traumatic process. On the other hand, it might have been a soul destroying energy suck. Important items such as passports might have gone astray, hotels not lived up to their glowing reviews and everyone contracted exotic bug as an unwelcome souvenir.
Rather than having a holiday to recover from the previous holiday, you are expected to wade back into the masses of emails and work that has mounted up in your absence. Here are a few of our top tips to help smooth the transition back into working life.
- If you can possibly manage it, take some more time off. This isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. Coming back to work on a Tuesday makes for a shorter week and allows you to use the Monday to decompress and sort out the all-important to do list. Speaking of which:
- Set reasonable targets. Don’t schedule any vital out of office meetings for your first day back, not only will it be hard to get your head back in the game, but it also ensures you have time to navigate through whatever has piled up in your absence.
- Try and have something fun to do. If there’s a brand new (but not too important) project waiting for your input you will probably be more motivated to dive right back in.
- Get the gossip ahead of time. Otherwise known as catching up with a colleague the night before. Call someone from your office for a quick chat or email with them so you can ensure that you haven’t missed anything significant. This also makes you less likely to put your foot in it with any unfortunate social faux pas.
- Don’t take your out of office off straight away. There they are, all those lovely emails clamouring for your attention. Coming back to a heaving inbox can be accompanied by a horrible sinking sensation in one’s stomach.There are various different ways to tackle this mammoth task.
Allow yourself a little time to prioritise the messages and sort out what actually needs your attention. If you’re feeling especially brave you could always delete the contents of your inbox (if you’re going with this route you can always copy and archive them, just in case) – people in your office will chase you for the really important stuff. If in doubt you can always prepare people for this by specifically stating in your out of office message that you won’t be reading any messages sent while you were off.
- Bring your holiday in with you. Don’t burst into the office wearing a sombrero and a hula skirt or anything because, unprofessional. However, you can always print off an especially nice trip photo to put on your desk. And treats from abroad are essentially guaranteed to go down well if you share them out.
- Plan your next weekend away. This doesn’t necessarily mean time off but it can give you a nice little something to look forward to. The suitcases don’t have to collect dust for a whole year before you can get them out again, why not take a nice day trip somewhere or a city break over the weekend?
- Set some boundaries. Don’t stay late if you can help it at all. You deserved to have some time away and that doesn’t mean you’re obliged to burn the midnight oil in the name of catching up. Maybe even have a go at scheduling a fun post-work activity with a friend from the office?
- And if all else fails. Get the best night of sleep possible and start the day with a nice cold glass of water and a good hearty breakfast
Nobody loves every moment of their job. Given the choice, we’d probably all go for relaxing on a beach with a brightly coloured alcoholic drink. However, if returning to the office fills you with an especial dread this might mean something more. The holiday could have given you time to re-evaluate your working situation and lead you to the conclusion that it could well be time to move on.