How to get your employees’ work mojo back after a festive weekend

After a long festive break, employees will inevitably have to fight weekend-blues. All they need is a little support

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An extended Diwali weekend! Nothing could be more welcome. After the last working day packed with decked up workspaces, colourful rangolis, beautiful lighting and exchange of gifts, it is time to switch to ‘chutti’ mode. For most of us, our minds are abuzz with plans for the long weekend.

While some of us would just want to put our feet up and relax, others would be planning outings with friends and family. Whatever the mode chosen to unwind, the fact remains that people will take a much needed break from the stress of work. The very thought of a ‘break’ is utter bliss.

But this bliss is not going to last. After all, Sunday will arrive and bring with it the realisation that holiday is over and it is time to go back to work. After a long break, many find it hard to get back into the working groove. When the heart is still in festive mode, dragging the body and mind to work after a relaxed weekend can be a pain.

“Negative connotation to the whole ‘get back to work’ should be avoided”

Chadrasekhar Mukherjee, CHRO, Bhilosa Industries

Work, however, needs to be done. There are deadlines to be met, meetings to be attended and projects to be delivered. So one has to find one’s work mojo back, and quickly. For the employees, this can be truly challenging after a relaxed and enjoyable weekend, but the organisation as a whole can play a big part to facilitate this. Managers and bosses can do their bit to make this transition back to work smooth and easy.

Managers today are more than aware of the ‘weekend blues’ phenomenon. In fact, one study suggests that 81 per cent of employees suffer from anxiety on Sunday, needless to say the thought of joining back work after a long weekend is the culprit.

Chadrasekhar Mukherjee, CHRO, Bhilosa Industries, suggests that making the first day of work after a weekend a little easy for the team members is very important. It is natural for people to want a little more time to switch to work mode after a relaxed weekend, especially an extended one. “I personally follow this in my professional life,” says Mukherjee, who avoids getting straight back to long meetings, deadlines and deliverables on the very first day of work.

Rather, he suggests that managers lend their own shoulders to share some of the work burden for the first three days, if required, and give time to the team members to slowly charge themselves up and return to active work mode.

Alex Augustine, chief people officer, Waycool, does not like to directly get back to reviews and P&Ls immediately after a break. “Give some breathing time to the employees,” advises Augustine.

“On the first day after vacations, don’t come to reviews straightway, give some breathing time to the employees”

Alex Augustine, chief people officer, Waycool

There is no dearth of tips and advice online about ways to get back into the groove at work. However, ultimately, it all boils down to emotions. One has to channelise one’s emotions in a way that it does not create conflict.

Augustine recalls that at one of his previous firms, they conducted a ‘feel good’ survey wherein all the employees shared their experiences about what they did that made them feel happy about their vacation. Such an activity offers everyone a chance for a quick recap of the weekend, at work.

Mukherjee’s team follows the practice of creating a memory wall which captures everyone’s pictures and best memories from the vacation. Such activities lighten the mood for the employees and lessen the impact of the weekend blues to a significant extent.

“This helps cushion the ‘vacations are over’ feeling. The negative connotation to the whole ‘get back to work’ is avoided,” shares Mukherjee.

‘Return to office’ after a long break can be a big pain. It runs the risk of undoing all the good that the weekend does to the body and soul. However, with a bit of advance planning with regard to meeting the targets of the coming week and a bit of support from managers and colleagues, settling back into active mode at work can become a lot easier for the employees.

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