Top Tips to Ease Back Into the Office After Summer Vacation

PHOTO: How to return to the office after summer vacation.Getty Images
How to return to the office after summer vacation.

What may be worse than a "case of the Mondays?" The day after a three-day weekend. Here are some steps to help ease the transition back to work.

Returning to the office on Tuesday morning will feel to many like the last day of beaches, pools, and sunshine itself. (But take heart: the last day of summer is technically weeks away.) For starters, if your coworker shares about how their kid threw up on the plane on Labor Day, don't tell them: "Sounds like someone has a case of the Tuesdays."

Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing firm based in Chicago, offers easy steps to take both during the weekend to provide a healthier transition after your time away from the office.

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Here are healthy things to consider for a smooth transition back into the workplace after a vacation.

Before Returning to the Office:

1. Create a Task List

"Employees should write down where each project stands and the immediate steps they need to take once upon return. No one wants to stress during a break, so plan everything ahead of time," Gimbel said. "Coming back to a to-do list will allow you to hit the ground running."

2. Scan Emails

"The employee may resent the fact that they have to work outside of the office, but at the end of the day, the pros outweigh the cons in dedicating an hour for managing an inbox or checking voicemails," Gimbel said.

Upon Returning to the Office:

1. Get to the Office Earlier

Gimbel suggests at least an hour earlier on their first day back to get organized.

"That way they are prepared to meet as soon as their managers get in to recap anything they’ve missed," he said. "Employees have to be laser-focused, which means putting phones away and not constantly checking social media updates or looking at the trip’s photos. They shouldn’t set themselves up for distractions."

2. Consider the Week Ahead

Before going home that first day, employees should create an agenda of what the rest of the week will entail, he suggests.

3. Consider Office Social Dynamics

It’s important that employees are empathetic to their teams who may have picked up their slack while out, he said.

"It wouldn’t hurt to write a quick thank-you note to team members who did work on their behalf. Appreciation goes a long way," he said.

4. Stay on top of Updates

If the employee works directly with clients, they should make calls to each when they return to simply catch up and recap where projects stand, regardless if coworkers filled them in or not, Gimbel said.

5. Use the Energy!

With the exception of diverted planes due to belligerent passengers, hopefully your vacations allow you to rest and recharge.

"Being on a vacation revives an employee who may have spent months at the office without taking a trip," Gimbel said. "Bring that fresh energy into the office and apply it to current projects."