As the summer months draw to a close, it’s a sad truth that many employees will be reluctantly returning to work ready to pick up activity in the run-up to Christmas. For organisations, while it’s positive to have more staff back in the office; recent research from CV-Library reveals that over half of UK workers would be more likely to think about changing jobs after a holiday and time away from the office. Not the best news for UK companies.
That said, it’s not all doom and gloom and there is action that businesses can take to help workers overcome the ‘back to work blues’. From providing enough time for workers to catch up, to motivation techniques, below, I offer my advice on the simple steps that can be taken to ease employees back into work after a holiday.
Give staff enough time to catch up
Our research tells us that employees feel much better if they have time to catch up thoroughly when they return to the workplace. From catching up on emails and projects, to speaking with team members about what’s been going on, employees that are given time to get their head in the zone are likely to be more productive in the following days. We also found that the majority of workers would benefit from having an update meeting on return, and enough time to create a priority list. Ensuring you accommodate these needs can work wonders and help workers feel more positive about their return to work after a summer break.
Arrange 1:1 catch-ups
According to our study, employees worry about dealing with work stress when they return to the workplace, so addressing this head on is extremely important, especially given that stress is one of the key factor that influences an employees’ decision on whether to stay at or leave a company. All too often employers are guilty of waiting until stress levels begin to bubble over before actually addressing them and this can have negative effects, not only on the wellbeing of staff, but also, on overall business productivity. Keeping an eye on staff who have returned from a break and arranging 1:1 catch-ups to discuss how they’re feeling can work wonders.
Keep workers motivated
During employee check-ins it’s good to have an informal discussion around their career goals, where they see themselves in the future and how they plan to get there. After all, our research found that workers find staying motivated difficult when they return to work after a summer break. When employees are working towards a goal they are far more likely to feel motivated and ready to make a valuable contribution to the business. Some companies approach this in a savvy way by conducting their annual review process in March so that six-month check-ins can be made in September – a good time to catch up with staff after the holiday season.
Offer flexible working
Returning to thousands of emails that need to be addressed can be daunting for employees, especially if they’re expected to get cracking on with work straight away. This alone can prompt employees to fear returning to work but some report that their worries could be eased with the opportunity to work flexible hours when they come back from holiday. While this might seem like a big ask, 70.1% of employees admitted to struggling when trying to get back into a routine after a summer break, so doing all you can to help them adjust could mean that they’ll get back into the swing of things much quicker.
It’s clear that the post-summer blues can get Brits down, with many struggling to readjust to the working day. While it is certainly not ideal to allow workers to continue with a relaxed attitude towards their job, cutting some slack and addressing the problem head on is the only way to increase morale and get the most out of existing employees. Otherwise, businesses risk them looking for a new job elsewhere.
By Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library