For many, coming back to work after the holidays can be tough. You’ve spent the last few weeks enjoying all of the festivities, spending time with family, and relaxing. It’s challenging to find motivation to get back in the swing of things. 

It’s highly unlikely that your employees will return to the office, ready to dive headfirst into work. However, there are some things you can to help pull them out of the post-holiday lull.

Here are some tips on how to help your team re-energize and re-focus after the holidays.

Communicate clearly

While the holidays offer employees a much-needed break, they can also be draining. Understand that returning to work can be overwhelming for team members when they’ve been away from the office for some time. Excellent communication is essential to helping them get back on track.

A lot can happen during the break, and employees may be missing vital information to continue their work.

Update your team on any project or deadline changes, client feedback they may have missed during their time off, company announcements, and any other vital details that they may have missed in their inboxes.

Make sure your team has all of the information they need to pick up where they left off.

Set priorities and deadlines

Many employees dread returning to the office due to the pile of work that has accumulated over the holidays. However, helping them organize tasks can make things easier. 

Hold a meeting with your team to create a manageable list of tasks, rank them in order of importance, and set deadlines. Setting priorities ensures everyone knows what they need to get done, and deadlines help employees remain focused. 

The simple task of getting organized can also motivate employees to get more work done.

Establish goals for the new year

If you haven’t already set goals for the new year, now’s the time to do it. Setting goals is an excellent way to inspire and motivate your team when they return to the office.

Make it a priority to schedule individual and team meetings during the first week back at work and guide employees through the process of setting goals.

You can even make goal-setting a fun and collaborative process. Discuss goals with your team by encouraging them to talk about how they would like to improve, both professionally and personally. This can be a great way to brainstorm and share ideas on how employees can grow as individuals as well as a team.

Coordinate a team event or function

It can be hard to get excited about coming back to the office after a long break. However, you can arrange a fun activity to give employees something to look forward to when they return.

Organize something as simple as a gathering where everyone brings their favorite soup to share or a day spent doing team building activities outside the office.

Fun events like these can motivate employees and make it easier to switch back into productivity mode. They can also help your team reconnect and feel better about coming back to work.

Prioritize employee wellness

Research shows that what you eat and your level of activity has an impact on your productivity. It’s no wonder many employees return to work feeling sluggish after the holidays. However, you can begin the new year by encouraging your team to participate in healthy habits that can change their mindset.

It’s likely that everyone has had their fair share of baked goods and treats during the break. Consider offering healthy snacks in the break room to interrupt the long workday and raise morale in the office.

You can also encourage walk breaks as a mood booster and to combat stress. A study by researchers from the University of Colorado found that that five-minute walks throughout the workday can lift moods, reduce lethargy, and improve overall health. The study also found that brief walks each hour proved to be more effective in improving health than long exercise periods.

Show team members that you care about their mental and physical health by encouraging them to make healthier food choices and get active during the workday.

Encourage collaboration

Collaborating on projects is a great way to motivate your team while reducing each person’s workload. Working together can also help stimulate creativity, increase productivity, and help foster a sense of community.

You can divide your team into smaller groups that can work together to handle certain aspects of a project. Be sure to schedule in-person or online meetings in the future where each team can present project updates and share their progress.

In some cases, team members can get more done by working together than individually.

You may notice your team moving slower than usual or having a tough time getting work done when they return to the office. While this is entirely normal, there are numerous ways you can help employees beat the post-holiday lull. By improving communication, prioritizing tasks, setting goals, and supporting team members’ wellbeing, you can help them reboot and re-focus in the new year.

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