What to expect when you return to work | 5 things to be prepared for

asian woman standing outside her work, returning to work, return to work

By Lyndall Farley, Wellbeing Coach & Sabbatical Expert, Beyond A Break

Transitioning back to work isn’t as easy as you might think.

It’s not always as simple as just going back to what you were doing before. Your company will have changed, you work environment may have changed and you might have some changed thinking about what’s important to you.

Here are five things to be prepared for when you return to work:

  1. Things will have changed – the company, the priorities, your role and this may feel confronting – give yourself time to adjust to the new normal.
  2. Conforming to work hours or schedules may feel tiring and constraining – ease back into your work and consider slowly ramping up hours over the first few weeks.
  3. It may be difficult to be spending time with people who do not share your interests or beliefs – workplaces are diverse and you can’t always choose your co-workers – give yourself space to pause before you react in difficult situations so that you can mindfully choose how to respond.
  4. You will have changed in your perspectives and what’s important to you, but no one at work will know that yet. People will expect you to slot into the ‘old box’ they had you in. This ‘old box’ will feel uncomfortable – like it doesn’t fit you anymore. Be patient with people as they adjust to the ‘new you’ and learn about what’s changed for you.
  5. There may be different reactions to your return, particularly if not everyone has had a break. Try to understand what the different perspectives may be and how you may respond to them positively.

For more tips and a step by step guide for a smooth transition back to work, download your free complete Return to Work Guide from Beyond a Break.

Lyndall FarleyAbout the author

Lyndall Farley is a Wellbeing Coach and Sabbatical Specialist, helping people and companies thrive using the power of time off to boost wellbeing. Lyndall has taken 10 sabbaticals and now helps people navigate the logistical and emotional process of taking a break from work themselves.

Lyndall left her decade-long corporate career to train as a Co-Active Coach and founded Beyond a Break in 2019. She believes that we can all live our best lives by getting more out of our breaks from work. Whether it’s a short break or a transformational sabbatical, it’s a chance to pause, reflect, recharge, then return to build your ideal life.

Over her career, Lyndall has worked with large multinational organisations such as KPMG, Shell and Philips as well as SMEs and individuals.

Lyndall is Australian and has travelled to over 60 countries on all seven continents. She’s lived in the US and London and now lives in Amsterdam, married to a Dutch/American.

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