Summer’s end means the end of the holidays. It’s hard to get back to work enthusiastically. The holiday blues are waiting for you. Here’s how to avoid succumbing to them.
Quebec employees take an average of fifteen days of summer holidays. Scientific studies tend to demonstrate however that the holidays only really bear fruit after three weeks: in the first the body rests, the second is a mental diversion and during the third, the person is regenerating and reinventing themself. At the end of 20 days, the cutoff is real and the rest, both psychological and physiological, is more effective. The syndrome of the back from holiday blues is more common than employers might think. It can be explained by holidays that are too short, returning to a very stressful job or the shock of returning to “reality”.
In all cases, a transitional period may be necessary. To avoid their employees having the blues, managers need to let them resume their tasks gradually. Tasks that are assigned to them should be simpler in the first few days, to avoid killing the enthusiasm that is still slumbering at home. Similarly, managers should avoid scheduling a meeting for 8:30 the day they return from vacation. They should let their employees take a few minutes to tell about their holidays around the coffee machine. If they don’t play the game, they risk creating frustration within their staff and therefore make them counterproductive. Deprived of this time buffer, an employee may have more difficulty diving back into work, according to occupational psychologists.
The holidays might be over but summer is still there. Scientific studies prove that sun and light affect morale. Why not take advantage of the last beautiful days to reboost the company’s workforce? To do this, managers can organize meetings outdoors or lunches at the park. Or again organize some after-hours times on café terraces to extend the feeling of enjoying the summer and manage the professional re-entry and reintegration of employees. Even if employers are not fans of the outdoors, nothing stops staff from going outside during lunch hour to take a walk and not finding themselves lacking sunlight.
Preparing your return
For employees, there are several tips that can facilitate returning to work. It begins before the holidays: don’t leave hot files behind. Delegate as much as possible to avoid crisis management on return. This way, you can walk into the office more calmly, ready to face new challenges. Likewise you can avoid unnecessary pressure: it takes a day to read and respond to emails that have accumulated while away and several days to get up to date with files.