Getting Back to Work After Vacation

Kacie Moon 08.26.15
53 Beach Kite Vacation

After frolicking in the sand and sun, getting back to work can be difficult. Sometimes the stress of coming back to a desk full of missed work can deter an employee from even taking a vacation in the first place. In fact, a study by Glassdoor found that only 25% of Americans use all of their allotted vacation time each year.

In the interest of having a happy, engaged workforce, these 6 tips will help you or your freshly-rested employee get back to work like a boss:

1. Timing is everything.
First, plan your vacation accordingly. Do not plan to be out of office during peak season, important upcoming deadlines, or end-of-year. These are crucial times for any company; scheduling a vacation during this time will only hinder fun and relaxation, the whole reason for the time off!

2. Go away!
Plan to be unreachable. Take a list of your mandatory tasks to your manager and discuss what must be done right away, what can wait, and who can fill in during your absence. This is a great opportunity to cross-train co-workers, especially if you are a department of one. Odds are, there is someone who can cover you.

3. Prep like a pro.
Start prepping customers and co-workers for your approaching vacation so there will be a realistic expectation of what can be accomplished before you leave. A team member approaching you the day before your vacation with a big project will be disappointed; plan accordingly so you can relax during your time off.

4. Provide alternate routes.
Set an out-of-office and voicemail message with your expected return date and contact information for the alternate person who you and your supervisor decided will handle inquiries on your behalf. Make sure internal and external inquiries have an option to get immediate assistance in your absence.

5. Don’t forget to rest.
Consider your return date. Arriving home last minute can leave you exhausted and distracted upon returning to work. Returning on Saturday instead of Sunday, for example, can allow time for unpacking, a quick trip to the grocery store, and a good night of sleep before reporting to work on Monday.

6. Play catch up.
Rather than jumping right into meeting after meeting, block out some time on your calendar to catch up on emails and phone calls on your first day back.

Returning to work after a vacation can be overwhelming. However, if you take the time to plan ahead, taking a vacation and returning to work can both be experiences to look forward to. For more information on balancing work and life, please contact Nextep’s HR team.

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