Back from holidays? 5 tips to start work with a bang

Do you feel energised and ready for a new start after an enjoyable holiday? It may sound nice, but it’s not always the case. Research shows that stress often takes the upper hand when resuming work. These tips for managers and their employees will make sure they won’t drain immediately the batteries they just charged.

1. Think ahead: provide sufficient back-up during the holidays

Good preparation helps avoid stress when resuming work. Those who start their holiday with peace of mind don’t have to worry about work piling up or reading e-mails while they are away.

What can the employee do?

  • Clearly brief the colleagues who will take over your work during your holiday.
  • Set up a clear out-of-office message to let people know how long you will be absent. If necessary, provide the contact details of a colleague who is at work.

What can the manager do?

  • Set up a policy on deconnection and let employees know that – job permitting – they don’t have to be reachable or check their e-mails while away on holiday.

2. Plan time to settle back in

The first days back from a holiday are an important time to settle back in and catch up with colleagues. There is sometimes some catching up to do on projects that were left on the back burner during the holidays. With no wiggle-room, the backlog accumulates immediately, resulting in a lot of stress.

What can the employee do?

  • Don’t plan any appointments during the first two days following your return. This gives you time to settle in and respond to urgent messages.

What can the manager do?

  • Don’t shower employees with hard jobs immediately upon their return.
  • Show interest and ask them about their holidays.

3. Move and go outside during working hours

When we are on holiday, we spend a lot of time in the open air: by the sea, in the mountains, on a city trip... The physical exercise and the outdoors do wonders for our mood and mental health. It’s a healthy habit to keep getting some fresh air every now and then during the working week.

What can the employee do?

  • Rather than eat at your desk, stretch your legs during your lunchbreak.
  • If possible, cycle or walk to work.

What can the manager do?

  • Try a walking meeting, preferably in the open air.
  • Encourage employees to exercise sufficiently (for example with a 10,000-step plan).

4. Create a nice working environment

In a monotonous workplace, routine quickly sets in. As the holiday energy melts like snow in the sun, chances are the productivity and working atmosphere won’t be optimal. A stimulating work environment can help prevent this.

What can the employee do?

  • Avoid disturbing colleagues with long phone calls, preferring to use a noise insulated room.
  • If you have a fixed office space, a nice holiday photo can brighten up your day.

What can the manager do?

  • Make sure there is sufficient light and air in the workplace. A lick of paint and plants will also brighten up offices.
  • Take into account best practices for flexible workplaces.

5. Keep charging the batteries

Stress can melt away the holiday feeling like snow in the sun. Although stress in itself should not be a problem – some people are just more productive when slightly under pressure – recovery time is crucial. Long-term stress may lead to full-blown burn-out.

What can the employee do?

What can the manager do?

  • Allow for breaks during working hours.
  • Keep an eye on people at risk of overwork. Recognise the key signs of burnout.

Beat stress at work

An integrated approach to stress – focused on prevention, management and recovery – brings peace and balance to your organisation. The result: productive employees who are happy to do their work. Our experts help you create a plan to keep your employees energised, motivated with an optimal work/life balance. Don’t hesitate to contact us at psychosociale-aspecten@mensura.be.