How to return to work after holidays
Switching off completely, watching Christmas movies while eating cookies, sleeping till noon, spending time with loved ones, and…that New Year’s Party - you’ve been dreaming about these moments for months. But do you find yourself feeling like you’ve got so much on your plate before you leave that you’re never going to get through it all in time? And once the celebrations have started, does it just seem like you’re spending all your time recuperating rather than enjoying your time off? Don’t worry! Here are our tips on how to prepare for your break wisely.
1. Try to relax!
Many people complain about the stress of getting all their work done before a vacation, but that is normal. Remember that not every task has the highest priority and with a bit of strategy in your schedule, everything will be ready in time.
2. Make a to-do list
Some people use a handy notebook or Post-its, and they’re great—if you go back and read them. Others use apps such as Todoist, Toodledo, Trello, or Bubblz, which have the bonus that you’re able to share your list with your coworkers. Whatever you choose to go with, get to work on that to-do list now. You’ll be able to pinpoint, prioritize, schedule, and set deadlines, and see the work that needs to be completed before you leave. It’s the best way of staying on top of things and saving you time in the long run. Try to get through as much work as possible before you leave, but be honest with yourself, and don’t put tasks on your list that aren’t urgent enough to avoid feeling stressed.
3. Make a vacation schedule
Every employee has this weird feeling that if your colleagues know exactly when you are going to be on vacation, you are getting more work tasks. It’s kind of true but you risk ending up getting multiple calls from colleagues when you are on vacation to find out where you are. Also if your colleagues don’t know that you are going on vacation, they may not tell you about a personal task for you. So don’t take risks. Just plan! Before you leave the office, don’t forget to let your contacts know you’re going to be away and make sure you set up a short, professional, automatic-response email so that your customers will be reminded you’re not available if they try to contact you.
4. Bring your team together and delegate
This is valid for employees from each seniority, it’s not only from team leaders or managers! Often some of the tasks on your list depend directly on your collaboration with another colleague or the approval of your manager. But in the meantime each person from your organization has enough tasks, so you need to discuss, plan and delegate in advance. Think for others' time, as to how you want them to respect yours. Also, don’t forget that a short brainstorm or asking for advice can help you get through some hard tasks faster and more successfully.
5. Make sure you switch off completely
The most important projects have been wrapped up, trusted coworkers are looking after the ongoing ones, and your contacts and customers know you are gone. Excellent! All that’s left to do is walk out that office door as free as a bird and leave it all behind while you’re on vacation. It’s crucial to unplug, in the true sense of the word. To do this, empty your head of any work issues you’ve been preoccupied with, leave your laptop aside, and mute your cell phone. Take advantage of your well-deserved break to get some extra sleep, spend time with loved ones, and laugh a lot. This is the best way to recharge your batteries ready for your return.
6. Organise your return
To avoid any stress and chaos when you return to work, prepare the items you know will be the most urgent. A good tidy-up helps you take stock and be clear on what needs to be done, plus having an organized workspace makes it much more pleasant to return. Update your calendar with the events and deadlines to meet. Schedule a meeting with your team the day after you get back (or even on the same day if you need to do that to get up to speed) to go over what has been done while you were away and what needs to be done now.And there you are, all ready to leave for your stress-free vacation. With a little organisation, it’s possible to achieve anything! We wish you bright and happy holidays, and at the beginning of the new year, we have prepared many interesting projects for you!