Handling vacation 'hangovers'

Employees (even CEO’s , sometimes) tend to lose their grip on things once they return from a long vacation – it takes another couple of days (or even 10 days or so in ‘extreme ‘cases) to get back on track, at 100%.
How can one counter this phenomenon, as an individual, n also in one’s team.
Please state how you tackle this individually, n how you get your team back on track (in case of managers).


  • My opinion
    I personally believe that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, I never stay away from work for more than 24 hours straight. It suits me too, as I tend to get all jittery, if I dont.
    Most people disagree with me, though.

  • have never heard or seen this problem affect someone for more than 1-2 days even with long international travel vacations lasting a month.
    The long term effects of burn out are a much more significant problem I see. They are often less obvious but the low level loss of productivity for weeks or months is far more troublesome for the groups I’ve worked with.

  • I care to argue
    Employees who do not take vacation are higher stress risks, employee creativity is low, morale is low
    Encouraging vacations (actual vacations) is key. Employers can receive a 3-1 ROI when employees take vacations
    See this small video: mywvdt.com

  • Zohaib,
    I would also rather strongly disagree with your opinion. Vacations are very important to keep the concentration level high. Vacations reboost your mind and help you restart your work with a renewed energy.
    On the contrary not taking a vacation has alot of downsides. I say this from a personal experience of not taking a real vacation for 5 consecutive years – and only after I took one last year I could find myself working much better and smarter on issues I used to get easily frustrated and disengaged with.

  • Hi Zohaib,
    I have encountered this, in a way. The best way I have dealt with it myself is to recognize beforehand that it will probably happen; then when it does, I’m more relaxed about it and that helps me to concentrate on my work.

  • I think the mind needs time to recover so vacations are a must. If your employees don’t vacation they begin to lose interest in my experience. One needs time to unwind every now and then.
    With that said, I think that having project managers with documentation (CRM, Project board etc) that is up to date works great for getting everyone back on the same page when they return.
    I personally keep a project board where everyone has a list of tasks that need to be completed. For clients we have a great CRM system that helps us keep tabs on client needs, follow ups and tasks.

  • With all due respect to your style — which many may find extreme — this level of intensity may work really well for you and not at all for many terrific, talented people who you might dismiss as insufficiently dedicated if they do not share your zeal for all work/all the time.
    I totally disagree. I take vacations of two to four weeks at a time every year (if I take fewer than 5 to 6 weeks total, it’s too few) and come home completely refreshed and ready to work at a high level, essential for someone self-employed in a recession.
    I would suggest you need to think through “getting your team back on track.” If you have thoughtfully hired and motivated your team, they’re ready to go when they feel renewed. Shoving someone’s nose into a grindstone will not gain you increased productivity but, quite possibly, an empty chair.
    If someone returns at “only” 80 percent for a few days, that’s still about 65% more than many people even offer…

  • Mahlaqa Saeed

    my personal experience both of my self and my team has been that we are more alert and more charged to take up challenges after returning from a vacation. a growing phenomenon that i’ve noticed among all levels is that people tend to remain connected via email or cell phones while on vacation (including myself). that, i believe is a killer and exhausts you in the long run until you want to run away to the mountains. my mom i find an exception in this, not only has she not taken a vacation in more than a decade, she also works on weekends!

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