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4 ways to banish post-holiday blues from the workplace

The unusually long weekend is over. As your team goes back to work, how can you help your teammates overcome post-vacation blues? Here are some tips.
By Matt Straz |
4 ways to banish post-holiday blues from the workplace

The long weekend has come to an end and employees have returned to work, but are they still in vacation mode? For many, the act of going back to normal work routines triggers feelings of lethargy and anxiety, making it hard to jump back into our daily tasks.

Post-vacation blues are very real, especially in the workplace. Getting employees back into the swing of things after a vacation can be difficult, but recognizing the signs of a disengaged employee can help employers get them back on board.

Beat post-vacation blues by keeping an eye out for these four signs of employee disengagement and how to remedy them:

1. Lack of enthusiasm.

After a long weekend, many employees usually have a little less to look forward to during the workweek. Having a lack of enthusiasm isn’t uncommon in employees, but it can have a negative effect on their quality of work. While disinterest and pessimism may only last a few days for some, for others it is not so short-lived.

Remedy: Boost enthusiasm in the workplace after the long weekend has ended by giving employees something to look forward to or work toward, such as employee-related celebrations or a reduced workday. Creating something for employees to look forward to helps to build a positive work environment that motivates them to perform at their best.

Related: 13 signs of a disengaged employee (infographic)

analysis_299692_640.jpg2. Distracted employees.

The long weekend break might be over, but many still have vacation on their minds. Employees who are less focused on their daily tasks take longer than usual to complete their assignments, or spend too much of their time socializing are likely still in vacation-mode.

Remedy: In an effort to help employees regain focus on their work, help them set attainable goals for the week. Have them break up larger goals into smaller, more achievable goals. Working on several smaller projects rather than a few large projects is much less daunting and it allows them to cross off more on their to-do lists.       

Additionally, having employees spend the first few minutes of their day tidying up their workspace can also keep them from being distracted. A messy workspace leads to equally messy thoughts, so encouraging organization at work is vital to maintaining focused employees.

Related: Distracted and overwhelmed employees are costing you big. Try these 3 fixes.

3. Moody workers.

‘Tis the season for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression typically associated with the winter season when the days grow shorter and the sunlight is fleeting. A 2013 SLEEP study of about 50 day-shift workers found a strong association between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep quality, activity patterns, and quality of life.   

Remedy: To combat SAD during the winter months, as well as post-holiday blues, encourage employees to spend time outdoors. Allowing them to take an occasional walk can help clear their minds and brighten their moods--and do everyone some good after all of the weekend feasting.

russia_95311_640.jpg4. Declining quality of work

Whether or not an employee is engaged is often evident in the quality of work they produce. Employees who fail to meet deadlines or produce work that is below par, especially when they are capable of more, are likely still in a post-vacation slump.    

Remedy: Consider offering a professional development day early on in the week. Providing employees with training and learning opportunities after a long break will refocus their attention on their work and get them back to peak performance well after the weekend excitement has died down.

In addition to employee development, implement employee recognition when possible. Recognizing employees for a job well done encourages them to continue doing what they do well. Whether that positive feedback takes the form of a healthy bonus or a simple “thank you,” acknowledging employees’ successes is essential to employee engagement.

Related: Happy employees make thriving companies



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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.

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