• Tara Humphrey

Returning to work after a summer holiday | Top Tips

Updated: Jun 5

Taking time off work should be relaxing, but we all know that the lead up to a holiday can be stressful (I share my tips here to planning time off without the stress!). 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.

Despite my careful planning in preparation for me to take some time off work as shared in my weekly newsletter, I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t share that at points, I have found things a little stressful. One thing to consider that is often overlooked is how to get back up to speed at work after a period of leave.

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 allow yourself to be swallowed up by your email or waste time procrastinating on tasks that 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 into work after time off?

Not Quite Ready to Jet Off?

You may find these resources useful to help you plan your time off work:

Top tips when planning to take time off

When you suddenly have to take time off

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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 and provide interim PCN Manager support.

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.