Whether you spent Christmas going for long country walks or challenging your grandpa to drinking games, your first day back at work is going to be painful. Sorry to be a downer, but your office is going to feel like a cage and every minute you spend there will take an eternity to pass. Here’s our guide to making it bearable.
1. Wear clothes that are like pyjamas
Ditch any ‘new year, new me’ ideas you might have picked up while reading the Sunday style supplements. Don’t start 2015 in an ‘Apprentice’-inspired get-up chosen to show you mean business. Start the year in the closest thing to sweatpants you can get away with. In the Time Out office this would probably be actual sweatpants, but those of you in more serious jobs might want to opt for anything smart but loose fitting and soft. Sorry if you have to wear a suit.
2. Don’t be a diet twat (you’re going to need sugar)
This is one time when ‘my diet starts tomorrow’ is the right attitude. Maybe have a token juice to make yourself feel better about life, but you’re going to need a share-size bag of Starburst to fuel any thinking you do today. Plus, it’s likely your colleagues are going to want to eat their feelings too. Making them feel guilty by shotting wheatgrass at your desk is a surefire way to start 2015 with zero friends.
3. Not too much coffee though
You’re going to want to remain semi-asleep for most of the day. The office experience is only going to be more painful if a triple-shot latte leaves you twitching and hyper-alert. Keep things camomile.
4. Book a room for a meeting that doesn’t exist
Tell your manager that you’re finally getting round to having that meeting with the international sales team. Go to the allocated room and either have the nap of your dreams or sit in silence, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to make ‘how was your Christmas?’ small talk for at least the next hour. Warning: taking a duvet and pillows will probably give the game away.
5. Don’t oversell your massive NYE
It’ll make your 3pm ‘flu’ more convincing.
6. Bring treats for your colleagues so they remain buoyant and don’t kill your vibe
Pretty self-explanatory, this one. Your co-workers are going to be more cheery if they’re riding shotgun on your never-ending confectionary journey than if they’re sat in the corner solemnly eating a rich tea biscuit and a banana. Bag a discounted tin of Quality Street on your way into the office.
7. Spend as much of the day as you can doing mindless, repetitive tasks
Fill your working day with all the tasks you usually put off because they’re boring. Don’t try and think up new brand strategies or creatives. Instead; input data, make numerous Google Docs, update all your spreadsheets, update your email address book, update your desk Ryan Gosling collage and organise your tea collection into alphabetical order.
8. Find a strong playlist
You’re going to be too sleepy to make your own playlist, so search Spotify for something made by someone with much more time on their hands. You want a good four-hour soundtrack with enough energy to keep you working, but mellow enough to not wake you up (see point three). We recommend ‘Emotional Hangover’ for those of you who like your nine-to-five with a side dose of melodrama.
9. Take an umbrella
Battling your first commute in over a week is going to brutal enough. Doing that commute while soaking wet is the stuff of nightmares.
10. Take your full lunch break (but don’t use it to visit the sales)
Don’t even think about entering a non-food store, even if you walk past Cos and there’s a crisp, beautiful shirt in the window. You’ll run into hoards of shoppers who haven’t gone back to work yet and it’ll make you sad and stressed. Instead go for a delicious, extravagant lunch of your choice. Take a work friend if you’re feeling wild.
11. Don’t make energetic plans for after work
By 5pm you’re going to be starting to crack up, so if you head out on a first date you’re going to come across as TOTALLY INSANE. Plus, you’ll probably end up curled up in a ball if you attempt any sort of fitness class and/or head out to a banging club night. Either go home with a pizza or to the pub with a couple of friends. Anything else will be just too much.
By Kate Lloyd