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Post-Holiday Blues - Returning to Work

22 Aug 2016


There’s nothing worse than the post-holiday blues that first day back in the office. Often the excitement of a holiday faced with the reality of work is not a pleasant experience, however there are a number of ways to make your return a little easier (and we’re not talking about scoffing toblerones from the duty free!)

Plan Of Attack

When coming back to work have a catch-up with your colleagues, especially those looking after your work when you were away. Remember not to throw yourself at every task on your first day, this will cause you to become stressed and will affect the quality and efficiency of your work. A quick review of your voicemails, calendar and emails, will serve as a reminder of any essential tasks, meetings and due dates. This will help you to prepare and plan for the coming week.

Organising Your Inbox                                                  

Usually checking emails is the first thing everyone does once they are back in the office.  If possible, leave on your “out of office” reply until the afternoon of your first day back – this will give you a head start and allow you to settle back into your work. Also, remember not to read your emails in chronological order, instead sort them by sender or the subject line which will allow you to quickly manage important emails and cut down on irrelevant mail.

Prioritise Key Tasks

Fight the urge to begin a number of tasks at once, this only leads to confusion and inefficiency. Make a point to prioritize your work and start on one task at a time. This will ensure you manage your holiday workload better and tackle any immediate priorities.  Often, it is easier to revisit tasks you began before your holidays.

Remove Any Distractions

Getting back into the routine of work can prove difficult, especially with so many distractions. Removing anything that takes you away from your work cannot be under estimated – turning off your mobile phone, logging out of social media and getting rid of any other distraction, enable you to get your head down and clear your desk of the backlog.

Make Plans

Your first week back at work after a relaxing holiday may prove to be a struggle. Scheduling a treat for yourself during your first week back is a nice way to ease yourself back into your routine. Whether it be a lunch, dinner, or anything which can make returning home a little bit easier. It is important to have something to look forward to and something to break up the week.

Leave The Office On Time

There will certainly be a temptation to stay late in the office to wade through your to-do list. However, it is important not to undo the good of your holidays, so pace yourself and gradually work through everything which needs to be done. Working to deadlines and focusing on key tasks is essential. Leaving the office on time and accepting that it is impossible to complete your  to-do list straight away will make it much easier getting back into the swing of things.

Coming back to work after a holiday can prove overwhelming however, taking advantage of the above steps will lead to a smooth and less stressful transition back to work.

For more career advice talk to your Brightwater Consultant by contacting our office on:

Dublin | +353 1 662 1000 | [email protected]

Cork | +353 21 422 1000 | [email protected]