The Post-Holiday Pick Up

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2019 by Maire GerrardNo comments


Even if you enjoy your work, there are very few people who would claim to look forward to the first day back to the daily grind after a much deserved holiday. My two week break has predictably flown by, and I’m now back in the office faced with a long wait until my next period of annual leave.

Nevertheless, returning to work is an inevitable event and so the focus should be on mitigation of difficulty as opposed to avoidance of it. Here’s what I’ll be doing to hit the ground running.

Catch Up

Before your break, you should have provided your colleagues with a thorough handover, to allow business to operate as usual in your absence. Now your colleagues need to do the same for you, updating you on progress of existing projects and anything new the team has been working on since your departure. While it can be tempting to sit down and carry on as if you’ve never been away, it is important to do this first to avoid any task repetition and confusion.

Tackle your Inbox

According to DMR, the average office-based employee receives 121 emails per day. Whether you go away for a few days, a week or longer, that is a lot to catch up on. You will therefore need to work through them systematically in order to be efficient and maximise your time. A lot will be marketing or spam, so an easy starting point is to skim over these, select the ones you do not need to read and delete in bulk. Then, using the information from your team catch up, you can prioritise the remaining emails according to what needs to be read and acted on first.

The To-Do List

As mentioned in my article about the ‘Pre-Holiday Plan’, ideally you will have left yourself a list of tasks that need to be picked up or reminders of any events coming up. Following the first two steps, you will now want to make a start on this list, remembering to add on anything new and remove tasks that have been undertaken during your holiday.

Be Kind to Yourself

While it is important to get back into the swing of things relatively quickly, you need to accept that there will likely be stumbles before you are completely reacclimatised to the working day again. Jobs are like riding a bike, in that you will not have forgotten how to do it, but it might take a few hours or days to properly get back into your usual routine.

If you do find the transition from poolside to PC a little tricky, you are not alone. The workload will be tough and you might make mistakes but don’t beat yourself up about it, as otherwise you could fall foul to a serious case of the holiday blues. Instead focus on the bigger picture; there will be more holidays, and there is plenty of time to get back to optimum efficiency in the workplace.

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