How to catch up with your work after festive break

Young woman doing administrative work.

The short break over the festive season will no doubt offer many temporary relief from daily workload. And it is likely that many will report to pending workload that will need immediate attention.

Some will feel energised to carry on their mandates and will have no problem re-adjusting to work rigours.

Other than holiday festivals, there are reasons why employees deserve paid leave. Michael Wambugu, a manager at a Nairobi-based company says leave benefits both the employee and the organisation.

“The benefits of a paid leave far outweigh the reasons stated. For example, you may be dealing with work related stress that hampers your productivity and affects your co-workers. Leave can see you return more energised and renewed in your job performance,” he said.

He added that employees are entitled to full benefits including a full monthly pay, a pay raise or a promotion during their absence, unless they are under suspension like being investigated for their conduct.

Some reporting from leave do not seamlessly adjust to work as they may be dealing with vacation blues that curtail their work output. In most cases, they have to deal with pending work as well as other new tasks.

Kate Wambui, an employee with an insurance company, said she reports from leave well prepared. She puts her work email on auto responder where those making inquiries are directed to an alternative email, mainly to a colleague covering for her during her leave, if they have any issue they would like addressed.

She returns a day earlier and goes through emails. Those needing immediate attention are prioritised over others. She deals with those emails before disabling the auto responder. “It makes it easier to deal with others and incoming inquiries,” she said, adding some clients are patient enough to wait until a day or two of her stated return date and make their inquiries again.

If an email escaped her attention and ended in junk folder, a client may write to complain and she asks them to make a follow up on the matter. “Sometimes you may be too busy to notice and you have to address any complaint professionally,” she said.

John Muchina, an employee with a city firm, knows how to get down to work after every leave. “It is all about strategising,” he said.

He makes sure to go through details related to his work a day before returning.

He doesn’t deactivate his auto responder until after a day or two when he is well settled. Though his co-workers know he is still around, those on the outside don’t know.

“I limit my visibility on social networks like work group as I work to catch up with my schedule,” he said.

This helps him work well without much distractions. The advantage of this is to make many have an impression he is still unavailable as he works round the clock. Hopefully, many returning to work will have that mojo to carry on their tasks.

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