Tips For Getting Back To School - Sorry Work!

The vision of returning to the workplace after your summer holiday and the reality is usually very different!

While many of us expect to sit down at our desks after time away filled with boundless energy and restored creativity that will fuel new projects, what usually ends up happening is that we spend several hours (or days) trying to process a deluge of emails and falling further behind on tasks that have built up in the interim.

How can you avoid the post-holiday crush and hang on to that refreshed glow?

Actively plan for your return

When planning time away from work, most people focus on getting organized for departure. Avoid undoing all that restoration by treating your return as something that needs to be managed.

If you are a Monday to Friday worker consider coming back on Saturday instead of Sunday allowing time to unpack, pick up a few essential groceries, and get a quiet, uninterrupted jump on email can lessen the impact of that first day back in the office.

Build in some transition time

Don't just walk back into the office after a vacation without a plan of attack, unless you want to be steamrolled.

The tendency is to try to make up for all the meetings you missed when you were on holiday, try to push those meetings to the second day gives you a little bit of space.

Don’t book anything for your first day in the office, block off the time in your calendar. If it looks like you’re available, people are going to put things on your calendar. 

Your out-of-office response is your first line of defence

Your out-of-office autoreply needs to be straightforward - why not consider leaving it up through that catch-up period; your co-workers will know you're available, but it will help stem the tidal wave of outside inquiries, or at least lower the expectation of an immediate response.

Remember your out-of-office message directed at external parties should include directions for who to contact according to contingencies. Assess who's going to be emailing you along two or three broad categories and let them know who to contact instead or when they might expect a response.

Change your mindset

Planning for and returning from a holiday can be a good time for an adjustment of your professional outlook. You may have some issues you have been wanting to sort out for some time - maybe with your team, your manager or another stakeholder. Step back and focus on that while you are feeling fresher. 

Wishing you lots of luck as you return and get ready for the next leg of your year!
 

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