Union views: Negotiating the Holiday Blues

Christian Ahlefeldt-Lauvigen is a leadership and network consultant at Djoef, the Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists. He is a blogger and moderates workshops and network groups for managers and executives. He is interested in ‘network management’ and how connectivity and knowledge-sharing can enhance job satisfaction, performance and innovation in businesses and public administration.

This year work came to mind two days before the end of my holiday. I had a deadline on a blog posting. And it was time to leave the slow-moving, pleasurable, family ‘holiday mindset’.
It is almost like waking up from a nice dream and facing a new day.

Being an experienced consultant, I have in recent years adopted a habit of starting on a Thursday. This gives me a more gentle start – a practice that is not uncommon in Denmark.

Long holidays

In Denmark we are entitled to 34 days of holiday. We are ranked number eight in the world for holiday time by Hotels.com. We are beaten by Norway and Finland (35 days) and Sweden (36 days) – but of course they also suffer from colder winter temperatures.

In fact, Danes have plenty of experience of going from holiday to business mode.

Energy at work

Our Holiday should give us energy and readiness to pursue the things we want in life and at work.
Fortunately that is the case for most Danes. Some  43 percent feel that their holiday gives them more energy and 51 percent are neutral. But 5 percent have less energy than before the holiday, and 25 percent feel tired, lazy, and stressful about going back to work, according to a survey by Ugebrevet A4. Of course, this could just be the Holiday Blues.

Thumbs up or down regarding your holiday this week? (Colourbox)

But it could also be an indication that it is time for a change at work or to even look for a new job. This is not an easy step and often the thought needs to mature.
At Djoef, many members take the opportunity to test their initial holiday thoughts on a career change with our career consultants.

Each year we have more than 1,400 individual talks on career matters. And it often leads to action, change and, for many, a more satisfying work life.
Have you experienced the ‘Holiday Blues’ this year? And what are you going to do about it?