06 Jul Returning to the Office After Vacation
I always joke around that I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. As it turns out, most people feel the same way after returning to the office after a vacation. There are numerous articles out there about post vacation depression and how to ease back into the “real world”. Today I would like to share a few tips from OfficeArrow.com on how to plan ahead and ease back into your regular routine.
Decide whether or not you will be accessible.
Speak with your manager and team regarding whether or not they may call you while you are away. Set ground rules that they should only call in case of an emergency. If you agree to be available or that you will check your email, follow through.
Alert key personnel of your absence. I’ll usually send out an email 4 days before my departure that I will be out of the office and to see me for anything by such and such a date. I like to give a deadline at least one day before I leave so someone isn’t coming to me 5 minutes before I’m out the door. I’ll follow-up with another email the day before I leave.
Set up voicemail and email notifications stating that you will be out of the office. Advise the caller or sender that you will be out of the office and when you will return. It is also a good idea to specify when you will be available for follow-up. Just because you will be back to the office on July 6th, doesn’t mean you will be returning all calls or voicemails right away. Give yourself a day or two to get back into the swing of things.
Give the caller or sender an alternative then waiting for your return. Let them know who they should contact if it is urgent. I usually advise to contact my boss or various individuals depending on the subject matter.
Work, work, work. Before I leave the office for vacation I like to get everything done that will need to be done before my return. I put in extra hours to finish up any pending projects and leave the office with a clean slate (or as clean as possible). I’ll be busy enough when I get back catching up on everything that came in while I was out missed that I like to eliminate any additional work.
Organize and clean your desk or office. I usually file anything that needs to be out away, and dust my furniture. It’s refreshing coming back into the office when there is no pending chaos in your workspace.
Plan for a smooth return. Give yourself a couple days off in between vacation and your return back to the office. This is especially wise if you are traveling by plane and may run into a flight delay.
I like to return home at the end of the week so I have the weekend to myself to unpack, do laundry, go food shopping, run any errands and prepare for my return back to work. If I haven’t done so during my vacation I also like to check email and delete any spam or unnecessary emails before diving into them upon my return back to the office.
Organize your first day back. Decide what you are going to tackle first; voicemail, email, or the growing pile of snail mail. Commit time to each task. I like to work on the simplest task (snail mail) and work my way up to the toughest (email) that is going to take the longest time and result in new projects. Stay focused and get back into your routine.
Get yourself back to reality. Get back on your sleep schedule, exercise, and diet as soon as possible. Now that you are rested up and had a great time, it’s nice to get things back to normal. Your body will appreciate it.