A stress-free return to work

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With the festive season upon us, and other holidays likely planned for 2018, career coach Caroline Arnold shares her top tips on what to do before, during and after a break to ensure you return refreshed and raring to go…

Pre-holiday

  • Add a note to your 2018 diary to discuss the 2018 budget, venue and dates with the boss.
  • Be proactive – if you’re off but your manager isn’t, make sure you hand everything over to the person taking over.
  • Agree with your executive if you and they will be contactable during the holiday – will you be email free for the whole break or checking once a day to keep on top of it? Can you call your manager if something’s urgent? And confirm any definite non-contact times – long flights, for example.
  • Confirm any corporate travel commitments with hotels, taxis and flights.
  • Look forward – go through your Q1 diary and get anything you need signed off before you go to ensure a panic-free year.
  • Reflect – how has this period been for you, what have you learned and what are you proud of? And what, if anything, needs to change on your return?

During your holiday

  • Turn off your phone – on average we check our phones 150 times per day but if you’ve agreed contact time before your break, make sure you stick to that.
  • Enjoy time away from the office. Space to relax is what makes us most efficient when you return.

Post-holiday

  • Before it becomes a distant memory, spend ten minutes reviewing how it went – is there anything you’d do differently next time so the return to work is smoother?
  • And is there anything you need to change for when the boss is away? Was there a signature you needed, or a decision that could have been made beforehand?
  • Book your next holiday – and encourage your manager to do the same, to ease forward planning.
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