Coming back to work after a few days or more off can be a challenge for any employee. But there are ways to ease yourself back to work to ensure it's not too jarring of an experience. After three or more days off for the long Thanksgiving weekend, here are some tips on how to do avoid the back-to-work shock.
Prepare your mindset the night before returning to work.
The purpose of vacation is to refresh your mind by a change of pace. Make a decision that when you return to your workplace that you are going to be full of energy and that you will have a fresh start to your return.
Get to the office early on your first day back.
Give yourself extra time before work to concentrate and sort through e-mails so during business hours you can concentrate on getting action items complete. For some, it is also helpful to stay connected throughout their vacation. Checking e-mail occasionally can also be helpful in order to know what is happening in the office so employees can prepare for what they will need to handle first upon their return.
Prioritize and make lists when sorting through missed e-mails
This is necessary to make the overwhelming amount of work awaiting your return seem manageable. Set attainable goals and priorities to help navigate the myriad of e-mails and tasks at hand. By organizing what you have to do, it will allow you to better utilize your time that first week back and help you recognize urgent tasks that need to be executed in a timely matter.
Give yourself something to look forward to.
Often times the hardest part about coming back to the office is not the large amount of work waiting to be done but the depression of no longer being on a beach or with family or having a vacation to look forward to. The remedy to this is to plan something fun on the horizon. Whether it is a future vacation, a weekend getaway or something as simple as going out to a new restaurant, give yourself something to not only look forward to, but also to reward yourself after getting back into work mode after vacation.
Share stories about your vacation with co-workers.
In our recent study on employee engagement, we found that having a positive relationship with your immediate supervisor is one of the three driving factors of engagement in the workplace. In addition to having that personal interaction at the office to help you enjoy being back, sharing vacation stories will put you in a better mood and help you ease back into a regular work day.
Michael Crom is executive vice-president at Dale Carnegie Training, an employee and leadership training company headquartered in Hauppauge, New York.