How To Return From Vacation


How To Return From Vacation

After spending ten blissful days on a sun-soaked beach, relaxing, unwinding, and perhaps even planning your early retirement, a soul-crushing yet inevitable realization will hit you: during your peaceful absence, work has been piling up on your desk and emails clogging up your inbox. Sorry to burst your post-holiday bubble, but it’s time to face reality: you have a job, and you have to go back to it.

How to get back to business the right way? has a few tips to make your return to the office as painless as possible.

1. Plan ahead of time

Before you leave, prepare for your return. While the tendency may be to plan several meetings for the day of your return, do yourself a favor and keep that first day back for yourself, if possible. Plan meetings during the second, third, and fourth day of your return, which allows you to manage your time more effectively in between. Schedule a few hours of uninterrupted solo time on your first day back to get your work space and your inbox organized.

2. Use Out of Office efficiently

Don’t just say you’re gone for ten days and will return the email when you’re back. In fact, don’t promise a response at all. Instead, choose people within your team or organization as points of contact, and mention those people in your Out of Office message. For example, if you work in Guest Services, you can say, “For anything related to VIP arrivals, please contact X. For inquiries on our loyalty program, please contact Y. For urgent matters, please contact Z.” By delegating this way, you have covered your bases and can reasonably expect that you will not receive any frantic calls during your holiday. This strategy will also lead to a smaller email pileup on your return.

3. Use Out of Office longer

Do yourself a favor and keep your Out of Office message on for an extra day. It gives you the freedom to prioritize your responses on your return. You won’t be fooling anyone at work, but for external communication, it can buy you some time as you settle back in to the daily grind.

4. Come home early

We know, this advice is not fun. But if you are travelling internationally on your holiday, you might want to consider flying home on Friday or Saturday instead of Sunday. The extra day or weekend allows you to mentally prepare for your first day back and gives you a head start on beating jetlag.

Don’t delve back into work during the extra day(s). Instead, use the time to make life easier on yourself during your first week back. Go grocery shopping, plan your meals, catch up on personal correspondence and calls, unpack in peace, do a little laundry, upload all of your amazing vacation photos to Instagram and Facebook—all without feeling rushed on Sunday night 12 hours before heading back to the office.

5. Make your vacation last, and make social plans

Whether you went to Bali, Barbados, or Baden Baden, don’t let go of that vacation feeling just yet! Keep something at your desk—a photo, a souvenir, a postcard—to remind you of the lovely time you spent away. Plan in advance a happy hour or night out with colleagues during the first week back. It will be something to look forward to on your return, and a great chance to talk about your trip.

Feeling ready to get back to business? Good! Now for the most important step – planning your next vacation! It’s never too early to dream of your next big escape.