Procurement · 13 December 2016

Do you think you should be working over Christmas?

Closed over Christmas
It is predicted that almost half of Britain’s workforce will be working over Christmas this year

Just 35 per cent of employees enjoy working over the festive period in Britain, as new research reveals the level of resentment in working over Christmas.

According to a new study by job site CV-Library, over 70 per cent of UK professionals think that their office should be closed over Christmas.

The research predicted that while some will be fortunate enough to be given the time off, almost half of Britain’s workforce will be working over Christmas, including on Christmas Eve.

Missing out on time with family was found to be overwhelmingly the worst part about working over Christmas – the killer factor for over three quarters of employees.

Commenting on the research, CV-Library founder Lee Biggins highlighted the unfortunate reality for employees that “many businesses offer services which can’t come to a halt [over Christmas]”.

Biggins added that to boost employee morale – and bring a bit more life to quiet office days – there are steps an employer can take to keep up productivity.

“For example; why not make the workplace a bit more fun by organising team events, implementing more flexible working hours, or allowing staff to wear Christmas jumpers,” he said in a statement.

Perhaps worryingly, the research found that almost 87 per cent of employees were offered no incentives or recognition for working over Christmas.

Biggins underlined the value of recognising the efforts of employees working over Christmas and keeping a business running.

“Whether that’s letting them leave a few hours earlier, or giving the time back in the following months, these efforts should be made to show you appreciate your dedicated employees,” he concluded.

However, further research has suggested that it is not just employees of small firms being stuck in an office over Christmas, with the owners of such companies facing even more time away from families.

A new study commissioned by online company selling platform Bizdaq revealed that almost half a million small UK business owners will work on every day over the festive period in 2016, including Christmas Day itself.

Responding to the research, Bizdaq CEO Sean Mallon stated that the high numbers of founders working throughout Christmas was testament to the “hard work and effort put into running a small business”.

“That over 60 per cent of small business owners won’t get a break and are working on Christmas goes to show the dedication and passion they possess,” Mallon said in a statement.

Find out more about the attitudes of UK professionals in working over Christmas in the below table, provided by CV-Library.

The best part about working over Christmas The worst part about working over Christmas
A more relaxed working environment (38.3 per cent) Missing out on time with family (76.1 per cent)
Christmas bonuses (29.3 per cent) There’s little to do as work is quiet (25.4 per cent)
Flexible working hours (26.1 per cent) Working longer hours (19.3 per cent)
Christmas music played in the workplace (24 per cent) Irritable/stressed customers and clients (18.6 per cent)
A more casual / festive dress code (22.3 per cent) Having to listen to Christmas songs (15.6 per cent)
Jolly customers (21.9 per cent) Missing out on Christmas parties (13.3 per cent)
Staff Christmas social events (18.6 per cent) Being made to wear festive clothing (6.4 per cent)
Secret Santa with colleagues (16.8 per cent) Having to train temporary Christmas staff (3.1 per cent)

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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