How HR Can Help Employees Beat the Post-Vacation Blues and Why You Should Bother

While we all love going on vacation, coming home is not so easy. After having the chance to relax and enjoy a bit of fun, it can be tough to settle back into your regular routine and your day job.

However, it is common for employers to forget this fact and expect their employees to be all-in as soon as they walk in the door after a long trip. Unfortunately, without understanding the effects of post-vacation blues, you could actually be hurting the mental health of your employee, and these feelings could affect their work.

In reality, your company needs to be proactive so that the employees don’t feel immediate burnout upon their return, and the human resources team needs to be in the mix. In this guide, we will provide tips and advice for how HR can change company culture and help the staff make an easier transition.

Aim To Defeat Burnout

Employees need to take vacation time because it allows them the chance to reset and refresh so they can return to work and perform to the best of their ability. As such, your workers should never be expected to check their messages or complete any assignments while they are on their trip. Due to this routine, employees will often return to work with a full inbox and it will likely take some time to follow up on everything they missed.

If your management doesn’t provide this catch-up time and instead overloads the employee with piles of paperwork and numerous assignments as soon as they return to their desk, then they will likely start to feel overburdened and this anxiety could quickly lead to burnout.

These are all negative feelings that can have an impact on an employee’s mental health, and when your workers aren’t feeling their best, then the work will suffer. This makes it important to allow your employees time to get up to speed and then talk to them about their next assignment later in the day.

An even better approach is for HR to suggest a system where the employee’s work is covered while they are out of the office. For instance, management could assign a different staff member to cover their job and responsibilities in their absence so that the vacationing employee can return with less on their plate.

Another idea is to plan ahead and find a way for the worker to complete all of their large projects before they even leave for their trip, so they have less to catch up on post-vacation.

Not only will these approaches help the employee to avoid burnout when all projects are done on time, but it will help the company as well.

Create A Positive Environment All Year Round

A great way to ensure that your employees don’t feel anxiety when returning from vacation is to create a positive work environment throughout the entire year. When your office promotes a positive company culture, a meaningful benefits package, and open and honest communication at all times, then your workers will feel appreciated, and they won’t fret about returning to work after a long vacation.

Employees should never feel like they are doing something wrong when they request vacation days. The HR team needs to let management know that the workers are entitled to a certain number of days off every year and that taking this time for themselves is important to avoid burnout. When they return to work, HR and management should be welcoming and even ask about the trip. It is a great way for managers to build rapport and create a supportive atmosphere.

Your company should also consider unique office benefits that can take some of the stress off of an employee’s shoulders when they return to work. For instance, many businesses offer babysitter stipends and childcare support which can be very beneficial to employees with kids.

Another great perk is nap rooms for when employees need a quick pick me up or they are unable to shake a case of jet lag.

Give Employees Tips For How To Beat The Blues

Finally, HR should create a list of tips and tactics that employees can follow even before they return back to work that will help them to beat post-vacation blues and feel better when they get back to the office.

For instance, it is a good idea for employees to schedule their vacation time accordingly so that they have an extra day between when they return from their trip and when they go back to work. During that day, they can complete some of their important personal errands like getting the mail and doing their grocery shopping for the week. By taking time to complete these tasks without feeling rushed, they can get that weight off of their shoulders and have one less thing to think about as they return to their jobs.

Also, it is a good idea to advise the employees to journal their feelings if they are especially anxious about returning back from work, and if that doesn’t help then they should speak to HR. Your team should always have an open-door policy, and the staff needs to know that they can come to human resources, where they will get the appropriate guidance. The advice you provide might include giving the individual an extra mental health day so they can get their affairs in order.


As you can see, there are many ways that HR can help employees beat the post-vacation blues, and it is essential that you do what is necessary in this regard. By showing appreciation for your employees and their mental health, you will create a stronger and more loyal workforce.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

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