Going back to work after a holiday is never easy, diba? But it’s time to snap back to reality - swap those sleep-ins for early mornings, and put your office face on. Work is a-calling!
It doesn’t need to feel like a chore to head back to work. In fact, by following a few pieces of advice, you can make your first day (and week) back rather enjoyable. Here’s how you can ensure the transition from beaches to meeting rooms is slightly less painful.
Show up on time Being late on your first day back from a break is probably one of the worst things you can do, so sort it out! Plan ahead for any traffic jams to ensure you don’t get caught, and be on time. Nothing shows disrespect or a lack of dedication to your job than failing to turn up on time.
Get cracking on those emails and calls! The worst part about taking a holiday is coming back to an enormous inbox that has to be cleared. First, don’t panic. Second, prioritise responding to the most recent emails - i.e. the ones that have been sent to you in the last 2-3 days. Put all the others in a separate folder to respond to later, and make sure you allocate at least one hour per day to emails. The theory here is that anyone who has emailed you two weeks ago can probably wait - and if they can’t, chances are they have emailed you again in the last 48 hours.
Determine your priorities What is your most important task? You might have a truckload of work to catch up on after the holidays, but don’t let it overwhelm you. There’s simply no way you can get it all done on your first day back. Take a moment, prioritise, and go to work on the most pressing tasks first after discussing them with your manager.
Talk to your colleagues Yes, we know you’re busy and need to get back to work, but take a few moments on your first day to catch up with your coworkers. Ask them how their break was, share stories from your own holiday, and re-establish a connection. If you want to start 2017 off on the right foot, make sure you’re friendly, happy and communicative!
Plan your first week back Just because you’re back at work doesn’t mean it needs to feel like a grind. After prioritising your workload, prioritise your social calendar! Set up a few lunch dates - with colleagues or clients - and a couple of other catch-ups with friends. A good balance is key, and if it’s all work, work, work, you’re probably going to feel like you need another holiday.
Go home at a reasonable time Don’t get sucked into the pressures of presenteeism. Staying until 10pm on your first day back isn’t going to help anyone - you won’t be productive, and you’ll just be tired for the next day. Instead, plan your day well, work smart, and finish on time. Head home to relax, make a to-do list for the following day, and hit the hay! The idea is to stay healthy at work.
It might sound like a lot to do on your first day back in the office, but it’s better to have a bit of a plan than run around like a headless chicken.