EMPAUA
 - 
August 26, 2022

How to return to work after a vacation and still be happy

Maybe you've experienced this too? You've had a fantastic vacation and now it's time to get back to your daily routine …and to your work, of course. Maybe you felt like most of us: lost, overwhelmed by hundreds of emails, instant messages, and a dead plant on your desk. When I came back from my last vacation, I asked myself: What can I do to minimize this feeling, this "adjustment period"?

Do not go back to work right away

My first piece of advice would be to not go back to the work straight from the vacation. That is, when planning your vacation, come back home at least 2 days before your first day. This way you will have time to recover a bit and get used to your "no longer vacation feeling", and - what is also important - you will have the chance to sleep in properly. 

On these days you can also plan a nice little "event" that will make your return-to-work more pleasant (for example, a visit to the cinema, a meeting with a good friend or simply a relaxing evening in the company of a good book). 

Book name: The art of making memories

Remember to block time on your calendar

Be aware and accept that you won't be as productive as usual on your first day at work. So do yourself a favor: Set a blocker for at least the first half of the day. That way, you'll avoid the risk of being called into an important meeting at 9 a.m. on your first day at work. 

You can use these first hours to check your emails and messages. In doing so, you can plan your next steps according to the importance and urgency of the messages and take control of your own schedule. 

Breaks matter

Don't forget to take breaks: breaks are important at work anyway, but on the first day at the office it's especially essential! You could set a "break reminder" every hour and enjoy these 5-10 minutes in the fresh air or you can “steal” some ideas from our people at EMPAUA on how they spend their breaks here

Another way to minimize the feeling of being "lost" or disconnected is to ask your colleagues for news. This will make you feel included and informed. Be spontaneous: just invite your colleague(s) to a 20-30 minutes chat (live or virtual). People enjoy being reached out to, more than we think sometimes. If you’re a shy person, here are some tips for starting conversations with them.

Fresh up your desk

Last but not least, brighten up your workspace. A clean, tidy is more important to your productivity than you might think. You can also put up some fresh flowers, a photo from a team event, print out some funny/encouraging messages that you have sent to or received from your colleagues and pin them on the wall or your computer.  Don’t forget to post the best photo of your vacation on your desktop background as a conversation starter, and to make all of your colleagues incandescent with jealousy.

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