Back-to-Work Blues? Here Are 5 Tips to Motivate Your Employees to Get Moving After the Holidays

If you’ve experienced finding it hard to motivate employees to get moving after the holidays, trust us in saying that you’re not alone! It’s always a struggle to get back to motivation after someone has had a bit of time off, and needs an extra push to get revved up and ready for work again.


To help you, we’ve put together a list of tips to motivate your team after the holidays. Let us know if you also have any particular preparation methods for work after a break or time off work.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Post-Holiday Blues

working after the holidays

When the holidays pass, most employees feel a wave of sadness taking over. For some, the hype of the holidays can bring excitement, joy, and a sense of nostalgia. While for others, the holiday season can bring past trauma, estranged relationships, and feelings of loneliness. 


Also known as the post-vacation syndrome, this slump can hit hard after a period of intense emotion and stress. Post-holiday blues share many of the same characteristic symptoms of an anxiety or mood disorder: insomnia, low energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and anxiousness. But unlike clinical depression, the distress is short-lived rather than long-term. Though much greater attention is often given to depression that occurs during the holidays, the condition isn’t all that uncommon. 

Tips to Motivate Employees to Get Moving After the Holidays

tips to keep employees motivated after the holidays

There are many reasons you might experience the post-holiday blues. Here are some tips to motivate your team after the holidays:

1. Allow for breaks

Offering employees those extra few chances for downtime can provide a productive break that gives them time for healthy socialization. Continued encouragement toward taking breaks can lessen the strains of procrastination and provide employees with the necessary outlet to engage in needed socialization. This, in turn, may allow for greater productivity.

2. Re-evaluate goals

As you return to work and evaluate your own professional goals, spend time encouraging and motivating your employees to focus on their professional goals as well. Offer clarity and encouragement regarding any goals for the coming months.

3. Promote healthy habits

Treat your mind with care by treating your body with care. If an athlete pushes their body to the limit each and every day in order to become the very best, then you also need to push your employees’ minds to the limit each and every day to become their very best. And in order to do that, they need to treat their bodies with care.

4. Maintain a positive atmosphere

The power of positivity is much stronger than you think. Positive thinking contributes to better problem-solving skills, more creative ideas, and stronger critical thinking skills.

5. Minimize must-dos

Move anything possible into the relatively low-key beginning of the year. Eliminate non-essential meetings so employees can focus on their core tasks.

How to Have a Smooth First Day Back to Work

Transitioning back to work after the holidays may feel difficult. This is normal for many employees, and it can often harm mood and productivity. Fortunately, there are some easy ways that you can make it simpler. 


To ensure that employees have a great start back to work, it’s important that they do everything they can to stay updated and informed. Therefore, an early start on the day is a good way to get back into a working routine and can further help ensure that your employee is up-to-date on everything.  


It can also be a good idea to set out a plan. Once your employee knows the things that they’re going to do on their first day, what they can delegate, and who they want to meet, they can set out a plan for completing these tasks over the course of the day.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Motivating Employees After the Holidays

Q: How do I return to work to feel refreshed after the holidays?

A: Get back to work slowly, give your mind time to adjust.


Q: How do you maintain team productivity over the holidays?

A: Set realistic expectations. Create systems for turning challenging targets into easily accomplished objectives.


Q: How can I focus on work after holidays?

A: Get your to-dos in order. Not just because this will make the rest of the week easier, but because it’s a simple task that will make you feel motivated to get more done. 


The secret to keeping your sanity upon returning from vacation is a combination of smart preparation and strategic triage. Going on vacation does not automatically mean that you must put in extra hours at work. Be sure you build in time to relax and do the things you enjoy, that way the benefits of vacation stay with you longer.

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