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      How to beat the back-to-work blues

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      Some people have already been lucky enough to take some time off and go on holiday, with or without the kids. For those who haven’t or are getting ready to return to the office, here are some tips to help ease the pain of the back-to-work blues.

      Schedule some down time
      I’ve found that it’s a really bad idea to go straight back to work the day after returning from holiday. Personally, I always feel lethargic and unmotivated if I do. If you can, schedule at least a day between travelling home and going back to the office. This gives you a bit of down time to reset your mind and re-adjust to “normal” life.

      Ease yourself back in
      When you do finally go back to the office, tell your colleagues that you’ll be spending some time catching up on everything you missed while you were away. Keep your out of office on for the first day back so anyone outside the office will set their expectations to match your schedule. Use that time to clear your inbox, and schedule a meeting with your executive if possible so you can catch up and discuss upcoming commitments to make sure nothing has changed in your absence. It’s also a good idea to sit down with the person who took over your duties to tie up loose ends and continue on where they left off.

      Recognise those who helped out
      Show your appreciation to the person who took over in your absence, whether it’s with a thank-you card, a small gift, or a word of recognition in front of a manager (which is especially useful to somebody in a lower position). Don’t leave it to the boss to thank that person, as it means a lot more coming from you. Plus, it’s your chance to shine as a leader – make it count by applauding a team member’s hard work.

      Look ahead to the next project
      Research shows employees are more likely to look for a new job following a holiday because it gives them time to think about their ideals. To avoid a lack of motivation, get involved in a new project or seek out training opportunities to give yourself something to look forward to. If you’ve well and truly decided during your time away that you’re ready to move on, use your time wisely by re-writing your CV and researching roles that interest you.

      Make plans with your work friends
      Gasping for some interaction outside of your family? Ask your work friends out for drinks or lunch during your first week back. It’ll make the week seem less brutal and you’ll be able to get more information on everything that happened in the office while you were away.

      Try not to work late
      No matter how much work has built up in your absence, try to get away from the office on time every night during your first week back. Putting too much pressure on yourself too soon after a relaxing break can make everything seem bleak and uninspiring, so take it slow.

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      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson