Eight benefits to going back to work after a holiday
You’ve savoured your last sundowner, checked out of the hotel and on to the flight home, and now work in the morning is looming over you like a dark cloud. But heading back to the office after the holidays isn’t all bad. In fact, it could be good for you.
To help you beat the post-holiday blues, here are a few reasons why getting your nose back to the grindstone is something to get excited about.
1. Work is actually good for you
New research, conducted by the Government's Department for Work and Pensions, shows that people who work past retirement age are generally healthier than those who give up the nine-to-five. A study found that almost three-quarters of working women aged 55 to 75 described their health as good, compared with less than half of those who had retired. And it revealed that employed men of the same age were actually healthier than those who had wrapped up work. So think about your wellbeing and embrace that commute!
Speak to your boss about getting more of the good stuff.
2. A fresh perspective enables positive change
It’s hard to think objectively about life and work choices when you’re in the throes of deadlines, rushing from one meeting to the next or getting an earful from a difficult customer. So when you’re on your break, try and take time to think about the bits of your job you love and the bits you’d like to change, then when you get back, act. Speak to your boss about getting more of the good stuff and how to make the tough bits better. And if you’re not happy where you are, perhaps it’s time to start job hunting.
3. Adrenaline makes us feel great
Working under pressure can actually give us a natural high. In stressful situations – meeting deadlines, presenting to a full room, or waiting on demanding diners – our brain releases chemicals that prepare our body to cope effectively. The hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline increase our heart rate, bringing more oxygen to our lungs, in turn releasing a surge of energy and helping us to make instant decisions. Once adrenaline is triggered, other feel-good chemicals called serotonin and endorphins flood our system – our body's way of rewarding itself for completing a job. Let’s face it, you’re not going to get the same rush just lying on a lounger, and a tight deadline is cheaper than signing the whole family up for a bungee jump.
4. You can exercise your bragging rights
Everyone knows the best thing about developing a deep tan is the opportunity to show it off when you get home. Be sure to wear white for maximum effect. While all your colleagues coo over your newly bronzed body you can tell them all about the “hidden gem” of a restaurant you found, indisputably serving up “the finest food in the whole of Havana”. When Mike from accounts starts barking about his own trip, simply pretend something urgent has landed on your desk and make a sharp exit.
It will do wonders for your bank balance.
5. Being at work means fewer opportunities to spend
Not only are you earning money while you’re at work, but you’ll be spending less. A 2014 study conducted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation found that the UK ranked fourth in the list of big holiday spenders. Research has shown that the average Brit abroad spends £80 a day, with 42% confessing to getting “carried away”. When you consider that our average daily spend in the UK is £75.87 (at the time of the study), which includes our housing and transport costs, you can really see how a holiday drains the coffers. You might be sad to be back on the soup for lunch after a week of sangria and seafood, but it will do wonders for your bank balance.
6. You’ll feel re-energised
You’ve caught up on some sleep, topped up your vitamin D, and now you feel like a new person. The first week back at work after a break is the best time to tackle all those tasks you’ve been putting off: respond to all the emails that have been sitting flagged in your inbox for months, de-clutter your desk or clear out that stock room. Blitzing the pile of shredding that’s been mounting since the New Year will make you feel amazing.
7. 24 hour internet access
No more data roaming charges! Or having to buy your ninth coffee of the morning just so you can use a café’s intermittent WiFi. Being back home means you can spend as long as you like hiding in the toilet at work, catching up on social media and uploading all those pics of you in front of turquoise waters (refer to point number 4).
8. Every day at work brings you closer to your next holiday
That trip is over, true. But the next one is just around the corner. And isn’t anticipation almost the best thing about going away? So whip out your travel books and get planning!
So, as the holiday season draws to an end, don't be glum. Get your work clothes washed and ready and remind yourself that the daily grind isn't so bad for you after all.