January 4, 2022 archive

The Best Return To Work After Vacation Ever

a glass, mug, and microphone in front of a computer

Yesterday was my first day back at work after 10 days away on vacation where I did not check work email or Slack.

I approached it with the usual perspective of “Ugh! How many messages will I have to wade through!” Quite often it can take a day or a couple of days to get caught up.. and sometimes you can feel like you need a vacation from taking a vacation! 😀

I have a whole regular “return from vacation" routine down. The first thing I do is copy my entire email inbox to a mail folder so that my inbox only has new messages and I can start responding to those items. Then at some point in the day I start scanning through that mail folder to triage messages in importance, making sure I see messages from our CEO, senior management, my manager, our team, etc., etc.  Before I do that, of course, I usually spend time working my way through the zillion Slack channels we have trying to figure out what his most important. Usually the whole process can take hours to days to recover.

So I was prepared that this would be my first Monday of 2022.

To my utter surprise… it was the exact opposite!

You see, our executive team had decided to shut down the entire organization for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, judging that all of us needed a full break to rest and recuperate given the pandemic and so much chaos happening in so many parts of the world.

And… perhaps more importantly… people DID take the time away!

There were a few email messages from staff, and a few from people outside the organization, but so few that I didn’t even bother with my usual “move everything to a folder” routine.

And Slack was blissfully quiet… at least until I got there yesterday! 🤣

There was no recovery time needed! I was just able to get in, answer a few queries and then get started with 2022 work and planning.

In 30+ years in the corporate world, I’ve never had a “return from vacation” quite like this - but I’ve also never had a company or organization truly shut down.

It was wonderful - and I highly recommend it for other companies!

P.S. We’re hiring! (Although only for a couple of positions right now, but other positions do open up over time.)