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Keys To Going Back To The Office After A Sabbatical


Whether it was to get a much-needed recharge, to break away from the monotony of your daily routine, learn new skills, or personal reasons like taking care of a loved one, sabbaticals represent a milestone in your career. But, all good things must come to an end, and as much is true for your time away on sabbatical.

The thought of heading back to work can seem quite unappealing as you consider the workload that may have accumulated, how your workspace or industry may have evolved, how you have evolved and the new skills you may have picked up during your sabbatical.

We have some advice on how to approach returning to work after a sabbatical break so that you can make this milestone a launching pad for your career and not a stumbling block.

What are the do’s and don’ts of going back to work after leave?

When contemplating the do’s and don’ts of going back to work, an important question to answer is, ‘how do you transition back into the office?’. Here’s how you can take on your return to the office, successfully.

Don’t forget to communicate

While your employers would be aware of your intention to take a sabbatical, that doesn’t mean it should be out of office, out of mind, for you. It is important to communicate with your employer prior to and towards the end of your sabbatical break, to come to an agreement on their expectations once you return to work, as well as yours.

Don’t wait for the day before you head back to work to send your senior an email. The sooner you communicate, the easier it will be for your employer to ensure a smooth transition back, and for you to mentally prepare yourself for the transition.

Don’t sweat, you’ve still got it

Going back to work after a break may have you doubting your skills a little bit as things will have changed, even if only slightly, at your workplace and in your industry.

Time away from the workplace does not take away from your expertise and skill set. If anything, it adds to it. While you were away you may have picked up some new skills you can share at the office, or had an opportunity to practice and perfect your existing skills.

Have confidence in the abilities you already had, and use the new skills you picked up to add value to your organisation.

Do think ahead

Find out if your company has any policies regarding returning to work from a sabbatical so that you are informed about when you need to be back and any expectations your employer may have once you return.

 Thinking ahead goes hand in hand with communication. Consider what kind of support you may need to help ease you back into work. Communicating ahead of time creates more room for flexibility as you can find out if perhaps working part-time at first is a possibility, and if it isn’t, maybe there will be an opportunity for your employer to make it a reality by the time you get back, simply because you asked ahead of time.

 Do a catch-up

Things changing while you were away is a given, so take some time to have a catch-up session before you go back to work. Catch up with your network and colleagues to get an update on the most pertinent developments since you’ve been away, both in your industry and in the office.

A good catch-up session will bolster your confidence when it comes to returning to the office as you will be up to date with all the information you need to plan and be able to jump back into the world of work.

Do act

When returning from a sabbatical break, it presents an opportune moment for you to make those career changes you’ve been thinking about, or act on new career plans.

Think of your return as a reboot for your career and speak to your employer about opportunities for a career change, development, and advancement. You have developed and possibly upskilled from your sabbatical, use the skills you picked up from your break to motivate a career that looks the way you want it to.

Going back to the office after a sabbatical can feel intimidating, but you already had the talent so all you need is confidence, communication, and some planning to make your return to the office a seamless experience.

Have something to look forward to upon your return to the office, with customised workspaces by Giant Leap, for a workspace that reflects who you are.

Why choose Giant Leap?

The ethos of our company is that if you treat people well, you bring out the very best in them. This means that every member of our team, focusses sharply on creating work interiors that inspire and uplift to enable staff to be and do their best.

We share a passion for excellence in design, delivery, and finish, always using the finest materials, technology, logistics and people. We create better places to work, rest and play in allowing people an environment to focus all their attention on being original, comfortable, innovative and inspired.

People are at the heart of everything we do; everything we design.

Giant Leap, welcome to a better place.