Top tips for getting you in the mood for work after the holidays

Did you have a good summer? If you did, it can be hard getting back into the swing of things. Before you run out of the office screaming, you could try listening to the advice of other PROs about how to feel excited again about work.

For Hilary Crossing, managing director of agency Focus PR, there are three magic words that get people motivated, and these are: results, energy and ideas.

Crossing says that results are motivating at this time of year, as this is a key time for finding out how campaigns have succeeded, plus you can start planning events to celebrate great results: “The second half of the calendar year starts getting exciting with planning pre-Christmas client events (‘the golden quarter’) and starting to see all the great results from this year’s PR campaign come together as a body of work.”

As far as getting energy levels up, Crossing suggests following a holiday regime, as often, when you are away, you eat healthily and get plenty of exercise: “So keep it up: eat lots of fruit and vegetables during the working day – they are great energy boosters. And cycle to and from work on a Boris bike if you’re in London – it always energises you by kick-starting the metabolism and clearing the head.”

Last, Crossing says that now is a great time to allow your mind to reach for the skies and come up with exciting ideas: “It’s always mind-stretching as next year’s briefs flow in. Start afresh on every client with new influences, inspiration and ideas.”

If you regularly find that your return to the office with a heavy heart, however, perhaps you need to change things. Simon Turton, owner of agency Opera PR, points out: “If you dread heading back to the office after a break then there is something amiss with either the role or the company, so I would say that have a good think about your future while you are away and then set a goal to change something when you're back.”

One solution to the post-holiday blues, is to not have a holiday. Fiona Kehily, PR manager at Henderson Global Investors, says that in her office, they don’t really get a summer break: “I actually think the summer ‘lull’ is a bit of an urban legend. During August we are busy networking – getting out of the office and seeing people we haven’t seen for a while. We also plan for the September to December period, when everyone is back in the office. I often find planning is the hard part but it’s essential to limit stress in the long term. I suppose that’s what my advice would be – if you do have a lull during July and August, use it wisely to map out events, contingency strategies and see people.”

How to get motivated for the autumn

James Ash, senior account manager at agency Liberty Comms, gives his team’s tips for fighting summer blues:

Keep each other motivated. Socialise at lunches and after-work drinks, especially during the holiday season. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to catch up on each other’s holiday stories.

Avoid going into meetings on your first morning back. Give yourself time to get up to date on everything you missed by going through emails and chatting to your team. Once that’s done, create a fresh to-do list so that you're ready to face whatever comes your way.

Pretend that the summer break isn’t over. Stay ‘on vacation’ by wearing shorts and flip flops to the office (when you’re not seeing clients of course!). Probably best to avoid the full glory of your Bermuda shorts but it’ll perk you up, and certainly raise a chuckle amongst colleagues, not least for the array of decidedly British complexions on show.

Book another holiday. Knowing you have something exciting to look forward to always helps fight the back-to-work blues.

Written by Daney Parker

PRmoment Awards 2019