Team Leaders, we all know the scenario: employees head off for a well-deserved holiday, basking in the sun or exploring the mountains, only to return to the workplace with a sense of dread and a pile of unread emails.

The “post-vacation blues” is a real thing and it can be a productivity killer. You are in a unique position to help manage this transition for your team members. It can make all the difference between a sluggish restart and a seamless reentry full of productivity and enthusiasm.

We’ve put together some top-notch tips that you can pass on to your teams to ensure they’re not only productive but also genuinely happy to be back.

Tip 1: Make the First Day Back a ‘Soft Start’

The first day back at work doesn’t have to be a full-throttle, all-engines-go kind of day. Encourage less scheduled meetings and allow employees some room to catch up. This ‘soft start’ gives them the time to sift through emails, prioritise tasks, and get back up to speed.

Tip 2: Promote the ‘One-Hour Rule’

Advocate for spending the first hour back to plan the rest of the week. No meetings, no calls, just planning. This helps employees get a handle on their workload and set manageable goals, making the rest of the week more focused and less overwhelming.

Tip 3: Re-establish Team Connections

Consider setting up a quick team meeting where everyone can share highlights from their time off. It’s an excellent way for employees to reconnect and for those who stayed behind to catch up. This light and informal touchpoint can significantly improve team morale.

Tip 4: Encourage ‘Email Office Hours’

Set up designated ’email office hours’ where employees only handle emails during that specific time. This not only increases efficiency but also ensures that team members are not continually distracted by the ‘ping’ of incoming emails.

Tip 5: Discuss Workload Redistribution

It’s not uncommon for others to cover for a holiday. Upon return, ensure that any redistributed work is handed back in a structured and transparent manner. This process avoids any ambiguity and ensures everyone knows what they are responsible for.

Tip 6: Revisit Company Goals and Personal Objectives

A quick refresher on team and company goals can re-energise your workforce. This review can serve as a reboot, reminding everyone what they’re working towards.

Tip 7: Advocate for Mental Well-being

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of mental well-being. Encourage employees to take short breaks and walk around—especially those who have just returned from a holiday. Stepping away from the desk can provide a much-needed mental reset.

By implementing these tips, you’re not just getting your teams back on track; you’re setting them up for greater effectiveness and job satisfaction. Feel free to reach out to us if you need more in-depth strategies tailored to your organisation’s needs. Here’s to smooth transitions and high productivity!

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