After the holidays, it’s no surprise that many people find it hard to get back to business as usual. Entering a new season or year can be a timely point to take stock, and make those changes that will supercharge your career for the rest of the year.
Introduce some new career goals
Whether it’s relaxing by the pool or cycling down a mountain, holidays are the perfect opportunity for people to break out of routine and reflect on how they feel about their jobs. Employees should ask themselves the important questions: What do they want more of? What would they like to give up? What challenges would they welcome? Mentally mapping where they’ve been and where they plan to go provides them with clear goalposts for career development, and makes their ambitions accessible. Some people may find that they come back from holiday feeling invigorated and enthusiastic, despite returning to Northern Ireland’s non-existent summer!
Prioritizing mental wellbeing
If someone spends their holiday feeling highly anxious about returning to work, or burnt out from sheer exhaustion, it’s important to pinpoint and understand the reasons why in order to resolve them. Communicating concerns can be intimidating to employees, which in turn may prevent them from addressing certain issues, or even worse, repressing them altogether. This can be detrimental to an employee’s mental wellbeing; it can cause them to not only disengage, but to disintegrate in the workplace. With one in three ‘sick notes’ now being issued on account of mental health, it’s critical that employers make their staff feel both comfortable and heard, creating a healthier environment for everyone.
Flexible working arrangements
Unmanageable work arrangements can sometimes be responsible for post-holiday stress. Employees are often unaware however that they’re entitled to flexible working, which was extended to all employees as of June 2014. Staff can negotiate this with their employers, providing that they have 26 weeks’ continuous employment when the request is made, and have not made a request in the previous 12 months. Flexible working is an open discussion which revolves around the employee’s needs, and the changes could include anything from a job share and term-time working, to a reduction in hours.
If an employee would rather not make a formal request, but needs some short-term flexibility, they can usually form an agreement with their employer. This could include anything from adjusting start and finishing times, to selecting specific holiday dates, which is common for parents with young children who are attending school. If, for example, an employee’s child falls unwell or has an accident, employees have a statutory right to time off for dependants under section 57A of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Given the circumstances, they can take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work.
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