Employer

Despite being a celebratory month for all in the working world, the month of December can pose some additional challenges for employers and employees alike.

Namely, how to ensure productivity and targets don’t fall to the wayside as we juggle workload with personal commitments, which can range from social events to purchasing presents and budgeting. That’s why at Perkbox, we’re launching our #5GoldenThings campaign to start the conversation about how to balance both productivity and festivity in the run-up to Christmas.

Read on to uncover how to foster this and remember to take good note, as December is just around the corner!

1. The state of play

To deep dive into how employees are really feeling in December, we decided to carry out some research into exactly that – how they feel! One in three Brits described themselves as unproductive in the month of December. When it came to Christmas stress, top of the pile was buying the perfect Christmas present, chosen by a huge 35% of respondents.

Other stresses included ‘trying to budget for presents, food and travel’, chosen by 21% of employees and ‘too many social events’ chosen by 12% of respondents. From this, it’s clear that the infringement of employees’ personal lives in the workplace is inevitable, particularly in the run up to Christmas. The key as an employer, is how this can be mitigated to ensure your employees finish the year on a high and are not consumed with stress and worry.

2. What can you do as an employer?

The good news is that as an employer there is a lot that can be done to minimise the stress faced by your employees. The first step is to reflect on the targets your employees have been set for the month of December, are they realistic?

It’s important to take external factors into account when assessing this. As you know,many businesses – who may be customers, suppliers or even prospects of yours – are taking it easy in the month of December, and this will inevitably impact your team too.

A good way to help your employees keep the balance between festive fun and workload is by carving out specific times during the working week designated for Christmas related activities. This could be anything from Secret Santa, to a ‘decorate the office party’ or a themed movie night.

When we asked employees what their favourite things about Christmas in the office were, they said ‘drinking with friends’, ‘eating delicious food’ and ‘celebrating the years’ successes’ – which may help provide some more inspiration for what you could do in your office.

It’s also worth noting that if employees have festive activities to look forward to, they are more likely to be productive when doing work; as their work time and time to celebrate have been more clearly carved out by their employer and they know when is the time for what.  Once expectations are set, it’s always nicer to enjoy the fun activities guilt free, ending the year on a high!

3. Continue the feel-good feeling into the New Year

Finally, don’t forget to carry these “feel good” vibes into the New Year. With many employees regretting leaving too much work until after Christmas and feeling depressed on returning, January is a notoriously bad month for morale. Use December as a chance to get ahead of the curve.

For example, why not put some time aside in December for your employees to look back on their achievements of the past year and set some goals for January. This will help ensure your employees hit the ground running when they come back in the New Year and avoid half of the month passing by where people are still deciding what the priorities for the quarter ahead should be.

And remember that although Christmas cheer is something specifically related to the month of December, encouraging a good work/life balance amongst your employees is something that should occur all year round – so these tips are to a great extent transferable!

If you have any good tips of your own, we would love to hear from you on social media using the hashtag #5GoldenThings.

Let’s get festive and be productive!

About the author: Maddie Pozlevic, is Employee Experience Lead at Perkbox. `141

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