Returning to work after leave – how to beat day one anxiety and get productive

Returning to work after leave – how to beat day one anxiety and get productive


  • Date: Tuesday 26th July 2022
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The summer holiday season is now in full swing and many of your employees will be taking advantage of the school holidays to take a week or two of well earnt rest

However, that nagging feeling of anxiety at the thought of returning to work from a holiday affects many of us. It is important that employees can quickly return to the rhythm of their work and resume their normal levels of productivity.

By setting a plan for how to get back into the rhythm of work quickly, there are simple steps that employees can follow to take the edge off their return-to-work anxiety.

Get an early night

An early night and good sleep will help you have the energy levels to manage your workload, make you less distracted and reduce anxiety.

Check what happened during your absence

Before you start on your workload backlog, check what has changed whilst you have been away. Ask your colleagues, manager and clients if any important changes have occurred. This will reduce the risk of surprises or prioritising the wrong tasks.

Don’t panic over emails

You do not need to respond to all accumulated emails on your first day back. Instead, focus on being productive by responding only to emails that are relevant to your first day back or to important future tasks and projects.

Avoid day one deadlines

Avoid planning to do tasks that have a deadline for the first day back and instead plan as free a schedule as possible. This should enable you to focus on work that has accumulated during your absence. Prioritise tasks that the team and your manager need you to do first.

Set and share objectives of the first few days

Inform the team what you will be focusing on during your first few days back. Contact important customers to remind them that you have returned and get an update on important issues or projects which will strengthen your relationship with the client.

Ease back into the work pattern

Ensure you take your breaks, especially a full lunch break, over the first few days back. Do not try to do everything on your first day and instead transition back into the work pattern over several days.

Source: Gavin Parrott, SSG


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