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Table Of Contents

How To Ease Back Into Work After Your Annual Leave

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Table Of Contents

There’s nothing quite like a vacation. You get to relax and clear your mind. The days are long and your duties are few. Your only responsibilities are to ensure you’re having a good time, and that the waiter keeps bringing you the bottomless mimosas you ordered. Taking annual leave and enjoying a well-deserved vacation is hard to pass up. But before you know it, it is time to come back to work.

While vacation time is important, coming back to work after your annual leave isn’t always smooth sailing. Many of us will inevitably end up catching a case of serious post-holiday blues.

So what’s the solution? How do you get back into the flow of work after you’ve been out and about soaking up nature, being stress-free, and doing…well…whatever it is you do on your annual leave? Here are our best pieces of advice for getting back into the work groove after you’ve had your fun on annual leave.

Come back a day early

It’s always a pain to get back to work after your annual leave.

So, naturally, the last thing you want is to rush to get organized after being out of the office for so long. To solve this problem, avoid returning from vacation the night before you are due back at work. Instead, come back a day or two early.
You can use this extra time to sort through your mail, do some laundry, and recover from your travel weariness. This way, as soon as you walk into the office, you’ll already know what to expect.

Take a gentle approach

Upon returning from annual leave, ease yourself back into work.

Find out who has been carrying out your duties whilst you have been away and get up to speed with everything you need to know. Prioritize the most important tasks you need to complete and enlist help from colleagues where necessary. It’s also a good idea to check all your emails, make a plan for how to spend your time, and catch up with any projects you might have missed while you were away.

Get reacquainted with friends and co-workers

Before you and your co-workers fully transition back to work, start off the day on the right foot with a small group meeting. This is also an opportunity for people who had been out on vacation or working remotely to get re-acclimated. Meet someone for coffee and get things going again. Schedule some time to catch up with a friend. Catch on office gossip. It’s a great way to maintain your relationships and ease back into work mode.

Prioritize your tasks

So you’ve finished your annual leave. Now what? If you’re like most people, you have a list of tasks a mile long that need to be accomplished. It’s not uncommon to be overwhelmed by tasks and projects that have accumulated during your time away.

The best way to do this is to prioritize the things that need to be done and drop the rest. Take things slowly, and deal with the most important tasks first. Don’t try to deal with everything, all at once.

Resume your everyday routine

After your first few days back after taking annual leave, it may take a little while to adjust to the new routine. But after a couple of days, you’ll find yourself up to speed and enjoying your familiar surroundings. A great way to do this is by easing into your old everyday routine. Go to meetings, meet your co-workers and reply to those emails. Get familiar with the things you used to do before you left. It’ll make returning from your annual leave less daunting.

Plan your next annual leave

When you’re upset about returning from vacation, one of the best ways to get out of that rut is to plan your next trip. It’s common for us to return from our travels inspired by what we’ve seen and experienced, and to start daydreaming about where we might go next. Creating a plan can be helpful, so do it. Make a vision board, look for new places to visit, and start looking for hotel deals. This will also help you stay motivated, too. Win-win!

Bring a little of your vacation with you

Feeling unproductive? The souvenirs lying on your desk can help.

If you bought something memorable on your annual leave that evokes pleasurable memories, bring it to work. Why? It’s simple. Happiness = More productivity. Another way to bring your vacation back with you is to dive right into anything that was bothering you before you left. Revisiting these problems quickly lets you approach them from a fresh and balanced perspective.

Try new things

Why not incorporate a bit of that vacation mindset into your everyday routine when you return home?

It’s always fun to experience new things when you’re away. Get out of your comfort zone by doing something you normally wouldn’t do — the opportunities are endless! Make an appointment for a mud bath. Sit on a rooftop and drink a fancy cocktail. Take a swimming class. Try a new cuisine or restaurant that reminds you of the food you ate while you were gone. Staying excited about the future will help you stay motivated for what’s to come.

Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

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