Back in the saddle: Tips for getting back to work

by Cameron Edmond13 Jan 2014
Even if you love your job, everyone needs a bit of downtime. Following the serenity of a Christmas break, work can feel like a bit of a slog the first few days.

“After having some relaxing time off over Christmas and breaking with routine, it’s quite normal to feel a little flat when the holidays are at an end,” Amanda Johnston, psychologist at Konekt, said. “Generally these feelings are temporary, a period of adjustment while you reacquaint yourself with your day-to-day routine. And there are a number of things you can do to beat the post-holiday blues and ease back into work.”
Key HR takeaways
Johnston and Konekt outlined a number of key areas that managers should address themselves, as well as encourage their staff to take on:
Look after yourself. Good health is important upon return. Employees should be well rested, eating well and drinking plenty of water to keep themselves feeling good throughout the day. A bit of exercised and some ‘relaxation time’ everyday will also help. While these tips can be applied to any day at work, a new year might be the perfect excuse to get a jump on it.
Organise.  The ball does start to unravel as the year goes on, and many workers find the last few weeks of work before Christmas to be the most frantic. Make sure this doesn’t snowball into the new year by ensuring you are as organised as possible for the first few weeks.
Communicate. Open communication is crucial to beating stress or other issues. If you begin to feel stressed, discuss this with your immediate supervisor or manager to make sure they’re aware,” Kit Underdown, psychologist at Konekt, explained.
HR should use the opportunity of the new year to tackle any problems in their people management. The new year will bring its own challenges, and managers can ensure they and their staff are ready through the following:
  • Review employees’ workloads upon their return from Christmas to help them prioritise.
  • Meet regularly with staff, even if it is just a short catch up to discuss activities and issues.
  • Ask how your staff is feeling and listen to their answers.
  • Improve workplace communication by sharing information with employees – this will help reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures.
  • Provide responsibility and accountability through ownership and incentives. If workers feel they are a part of the company’s progress in the New Year, this will cultivate a more ‘entrepreneurial’ work environment.
Have you had any trouble getting back into the swing of things? What about your staff?


  • by Peter McKelvie 13/01/2014 1:57:34 PM

    I particularly like your comment about getting organised in the New Year. Christmas always brings with it a mass of frantic activity which is made bearable by the inevitable and foreseeable conclusion, being Christmas day, or the office Christmas Party or perhaps the Boxing Day sales. It’s not realistic or sustainable to carry on that level of activity in the New Year knowing you’re facing another 365 or so days. You can’t start another marathon at a sprint. @petermckelvie

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