Top Tips: Coming Back from PTO

Red beach chair on white blank calendar background copy space. Annual leave travel period for relaxation concept. Period of paid time off (PTO) granted to employees by their employer.

‘Tis the season for summer vacations. And weddings. And graduations. Or just taking a personal day when the weather is just perfect to recharge

Paid time off is a beautiful thing. However, the preparation before your absence and the mountain of email to shift through afterward can be somewhat daunting. 

If you find yourself shying away from taking PTO because of too many responsibilities and the mess that piles up after, listen up. Take a deep breath and put in for that long weekend now—PRNEWS knows what best practices a PR pro needs to embrace upon return

For this edition of Top Tips, we asked communicators for the first thing they do when coming back from PTO. Here are the top answers (in no particular order).

Tip #1: Plugging back in

Jessica Buckholtz, Creative Manager, Social Engagement, American Red Cross: 

“Look at all my emails and missed Slack notifications because my office encourages us to fully disconnect when we are taking PTO. My PTO time tends to mean a social media pause too, since I work in that industry, so I take time to scroll through feeds and catch up on new trends as well.”

Tip #2: Be human

Kristelle Siarza Moon, Owner and CEO, Siarza:

“Talk to each team member, and catch up with something not work-related. It helps me reconnect with everyone in a non-transactional way!”

Tip #3: Establish priorities

Natalie Maguire, SVP of Communications, GIPHY:

“Catch up with direct reports and manager to see what is the highest priority for them! Helps me sort through my inbox and know where to get started, so I can be most immediately helpful to them.”

Tip #4: No explanation needed here…

Gabrielle Wright, Account Supervisor, Carve Communications:

“Drink a lot of coffee!”

Tip #5: Skip the email

Rachel Pinzur, Principal, Pinzur Communications:

“Review client boards on Asana and any updates and/or notes my team left for me. It’s the best way in my experience to get up to speed quickly without having to weed through a day’s worth of emails.”

Bonus Tip: Write it down

Whitney Wells, SVP, Hotwire Global: 

“Make a list! Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in ‘catch up’ work, so a list helps me prioritize.”


Nicole Schuman is Managing Editor for PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal