Coming back to work after a long vacation can be challenging. While you may be at work, your heart is still back on that sandy beach in the Caribbean. While it may be difficult, coming back to work after a trip doesn’t have to be torture, with a few simple steps you can make your return to work a smooth transition.
First off, review your calendar and appointments before you leave. That way you won’t be caught off guard come your return back. If you’re prepared to return to work before you even leave work, then you’ll have so many less things to worry about or over analyze while vacationing. Continuously, if you’re prepared ahead of time you won’t have to worry about anything when you return home from your vacation, you’ll be able to focus on unpacking instead of frantically checking your schedule to make sure you didn’t miss any conference calls.
Secondly, make sure your much deserved vacation is actually a vacation. We’ve all seen it; the family sitting at the pool, kids splashing around and parents sitting in chairs typing away on their laptops. Don’t fly halfway across the country to just work in a different location. Shut down the laptop and the cellphones. Enjoy the new destination and change of pace, all of your work will still be there when you get back to the office in a few days. If you really must work, set aside an hour a day where you can just focus on work, that way you aren’t constantly worried about work throughout the entire vacation.
Third, try to return home earlier than 11 PM on the Sunday before you have to go back to work. If you only give yourself a few hours to prepare for work the next day, you’re going to add back all the stress you lost on that vacation. Give yourself some cool down time between stepping off the plane and stepping into the office. Much like actually working on vacation, immediately stressing yourself out with hundreds of emails or phone calls is going to reverse the point of the vacation in the first place, which was to relax for a little bit.
Lastly, leave your ‘out of the office’ message on for an extra day. This will give you some extra time to catch up on other things you’ve missed while out of the office. Instead of having to syphon through those missed emails, you’ll be able to finish up some paper work or make that meeting. While the emails will still be there the next day, this way you won’t have the mountain of emails and the paper work and the meeting all in one work day. If you don’t feel comfortable putting those emails off for an extra day, try to at least leave the ‘out of office’ message on until lunch. While you may not finish everything by lunch, you’ll have at least have had some time to make a dent in some of that work.
Going on a vacation is supposed to be relaxing. Don’t let work overwhelm your vacation, the work will still be there when you get back.
I am Courtney McGuane, I am an undergrad at Loras College studying media studies and creative writing. Most of my time is spent cooking, drinking coffee and hiking with my best friend. I really love traveling and I hope to go to every continent someday.