A ‘back to school’ guide for returning to the office

August 17 • Goal Setting

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We’re trying to cling to summer for as long as we can, aren’t we? Still, with the weather feeling more autumnal than ever, we decided to move our minds to September. At Hustle House HQ, we’ve found that for many people, September brings a ‘fresh start’.

The kids are going back to school. New workbooks, pencil cases and uniforms. We can find ourselves in a similar scenario, too – the transition from the relaxed rhythms of holidays to the structured routines of the office. In this blog post, we’ll explore five top tips to help you navigate this ‘back to school’ transition as smoothly as possible and get the best out of the rest of the year.

1. Reflect and set intentions

Much like students reflect on their goals and aspirations at the start of a new academic year, this is an excellent opportunity to reflect on your career goals and set intentions for the upcoming months. According to research by the University of Scranton when people followed these two principles — setting specific and challenging goals — it led to higher performance 90 percent of the time. What goals have you set for yourself? Are they specific enough? Could you be more explicit? Are they truly challenging?

2. Revamp your network

Use the start of this new season to revamp your professional network. Take the time to reconnect with colleagues, schedule catch-up meetings, and consider attending industry events or networking sessions. Cultivating relationships within and beyond your organisation can lead to new opportunities and a broader perspective on your industry. Ask, ‘Who, not how?’ when trying to complete new projects and seek out new ideas and perspectives from people you might not normally connect with.

3. Embrace learning and skills development

It can be tempting to ‘get on with it’ when everyone gets back to work after the summer break but take a moment to find ways you can continue to learn and grow professionally. Take advantage of workshops, webinars, and online courses your organization offers to enhance your skill set and stay relevant in your field. We know that the first barrier for you might be time – and you’re not alone – Almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents in the Udemy 2021 Workplace Learning Trends report reported this too. But that’s where our next tip comes in very handy!

4. Organise and prioritise

Returning to the office after a break can be overwhelming with accumulated tasks and emails. Use this time to try out different strategies to streamline your workflow. The Pomodoro Technique, for instance, involves focused work intervals followed by short breaks and can boost productivity. Or try the Eisenhower Matrix to tackle the most critical and urgent tasks, ensuring a smooth transition into the office rhythm.

5. Cultivate work-life balance

As the summer’s relaxed pace gives way to the demands of work, it’s essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance. A 2021 survey showed 65% of job seekers prioritised work-life balance over pay and benefits. Even if you’re in a role you love, use the ‘fresh start’ in September as an opportunity to set boundaries for work-related communications outside of office hours and make time for hobbies and activities that recharge you!

So, as the summer sun fades, embrace this opportunity to start fresh and make the most of the final months of 2023 and finish the year strong!