Christmas should have been a time to enjoy a well-deserved break, but it seems many can't resist the urge to work through. But how can you reboot ready for the year ahead?
One in three (36%) workers would continue to check work emails over the Christmas break; with those aged between 18 and 34 admitting they were most likely to do so (49%). The research, carried out by Lee Hecht Harrison Penna, quizzed two thousand full time workers in the UK.
Unsurprisingly, Londoners were the worst at switching off as over half of London based employees (54%) felt they would be unable to leave their work behind. Millennials (18-34 year olds) were markedly more susceptible to scanning their work inbox when out of the office as half (49%) admitted they would be checking in online during the holiday season as opposed to 34% of their older colleagues (aged 35-54).
Though continuing to check emails may seem like a triviality, it could in fact be the underlying cause to the feeling of exhaustion that overtook you upon setting foot in your office on your first day back.
Even something as minor as a mindless swipe to refresh your inbox actually means you are remaining connected to both work obligations, and the accompanying work related stress.
Resting and recuperating over Christmas is not only recommended so as to allow you time with family and friends, but it also enables you to replenish your potential for creative and innovative thinking; two vital aspects of any profession. Whether you are an employer or employee, you mustn’t underestimate the correlation between over-work (i.e. exhaustion) and delivering a poor work performance.
Here are some top tips on how to avoid burnout...
1. Nine to five
Make sure you take heed of your contracted working hours and, at least for the time being, don’t come in early or stay late. This above all else: leave the work communication behind. Winter is far from over and you’ll need to keep your energy levels up when sunlight is so scarce. Be attentive when setting up your routine and allow yourself time to replenish your resources daily.
2. Be mindful
Make use of your journey to and from work to grant your eyes and brain some respite; don’t spend that time staring at a small screen if you’re getting ready to spend most of your working day on a similar blue-lit computer screen. Listen to relaxing or motivating music, or even better, have a crack at sound therapy or download a mindfulness app.
3. Ease yourself back
Getting back to work should be an opportunity to gently ease yourself back into your routine, not start at a sprint. Keep your to do list on the lighter side, and increase your work load slowly and consistently with each passing day.
4. Seek the new
The best way to come back revitalised is to try something new, talk to your co-workers about finding new ways of looking at old clients by organising brainstorms with different teams or shifting your workspace slightly. Joining – or organising – a new company wide group is also a great way to shake things up.
5. Allow for downtime
Although it’s tempting to fill every non-working hour with social engagements, make sure you make social commitments progressively and grant yourself at least one full day to rest each week.