How to survive your first day back at work

How to survive your first day back at work

Today marks the first day back at work for many Territorians, which means the lovely extended holiday break has come to an end. Whether you’ve travelled or stayed at home, going back to work after a long period away can be a struggle. Here are 5 tips for helping you deal with being back at work.

1. The first day is never too stressful

Expectations are low on the first day, everyone else is in the same situation. Catching up on emails, gathering their brain and trying to get back into the flow of things. Start with small tasks like checking and responding to emails and sorting out your calendar for the week.

2. Don’t expect to get back into major tasks 

You’ve got the whole year ahead of you, you don’t have to finish that major project on your first day back. Find small achievable tasks for your first day back to help you settle in and have a productive day.

3. Create new habits

The new year is a good excuse for you to put in place the changes you’ve been putting off. You can use the break as an opportunity to create new work habits. Create a new routine or try to eat lunch away from your desk.

4. Use your breaks

Your first day will drag on, especially if you spend the whole day at your desk. So use your breaks: fill your water bottle, catch up with colleagues, go out for lunch. Breaks will help you pass the time and be more productive when you’re at your desk.


5. Think of the positives

There are many positive aspects of being back at work:
  • You can settle back into a routine;
  • No kids to look after,
  • Seeing your friends from work
  • Free air conditioning (especially important for the top end)
Focusing on the positives parts of being back can make your day a lot more enjoyable.

We understand that these small tips don’t solve all your problems with being at work. Sometimes there is a much larger reason that you’re not enjoying your first day back.
You can find more tips for work under Tips and Guides – Work.
Alternatively, you can book in to speak to a counsellor about your work troubles in Personal Counselling or through the Employment Assistance Program (Free counselling for NT gov and PFES)