• Tara Humphrey

Returning from to work after a summer holiday | Top Tips

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

Taking time off work should be relaxing, but we all know that the lead up to a holiday can be stressful. Equally, the return to work, the overflowing inbox and the need to catch up on everything that's gone on in our absence can feel overwhelming.

This week, I came back to work after two weeks away. It's the longest I've had off in one go since I launched my own business.

Thankfully, the planning and thought I'd put into how I was going to manage my return to work paid off, and the transition hasn't been anywhere near as overwhelming as it might have been.

Here are my top tips to help you make the smooth transition back into work and start as you mean to go on:

1. Plan your days and prioritise. Don’t just sit down and get swallowed up by your email or waste time procrastinating on tasks which do not need your attention straight away.

2. Do not book to attend any meetings in the first couple of days. Take at least two days to allow your brain to get back into work mode.

3. Check your diary. Even though you may not have any meetings on your first day back, remember to review your diary for the week ahead to ensure that you don’t have to suddenly be somewhere or contribute to a meeting you had completely forgotten about.

4. Work on one task at a time. Don't start reading your next email until you have fully finished processing your current one. If you suddenly remember something you have to do, simply write it down and return back to the task in hand.

5. Adjust your expectations. It may be a little unrealistic to catch up on the communications and ongoing work in your first few days back and this is completely okay. Try not to undo all that R&R by working like crazy. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

These tips are not just useful when returning to work after a sunny holiday, they are things we can all bear in mind to help boost our productivity year-round.

What tips do you have to help you transition back in to work after time off?

Tara Humphrey is the founder of THC Primary Care, a leading healthcare consultancy specialising in workforce transformation and the only consultancy to have worked with 11 Training Hubs across South London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Tara and her team also work with GP federations supporting the implementation of clinical services.

Tara has over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sector and has an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care and is the author of over 100 blogs.