Back from holidays? 3 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. 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.

2. 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).

3. 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

Employees returning from holidays currently raise many questions. What may or may not you do in the context of corona? Read the answers in our FAQ.