How to bring some festive cheer to the work/life balance this Christmas

December 2, 2020

With Christmas just around the corner, most employees would be looking forward to a few days away from the office to spend a quiet and relaxing Christmas with family and friends.

But with over 60 per cent of the UK workforce now estimated to be working from home due to the pandemic, this year’s festive break is bound to look and feel a little different.

Many people may be juggling their job with the demands of Christmas, in addition to the Government Tier and ‘festive bubble’ restrictions.

Peterborough-based recruitment firm Anne Corder Recruitment has some tips for bosses and employees to make the most of the Christmas working season.

Recruitment partner Karen Dykes said: “Christmas and the run up to it can be stressful at the best of times, but with the challenges of the past few months, many families could find themselves in situations where working parents face more than just a work/life juggling act.

“Many of us use the Christmas break to enjoy a few days away from the office. However, with the current situation restricting where people can work, who they can see and where they can go – it is even more important to try and ensure that ‘down time’ can be enjoyed and that staff working over the festive period are supported.”

  • Families with children may be wondering how they will manage the school holidays. Employers could consider asking staff to ‘front load’ their hours, using their time before the schools break up to get ahead and be more productive.
  • Ensure that you still have a designated working space, away from noise and other distractions, even if that means setting up your laptop somewhere different for a short time.
  • Ask your boss if you can be even more flexible with your hours if your job allows. Start work a little earlier and/ or finish later – taking a longer break during the day to spend time with children and family.
  • Take a break, just as you would during your normal working day – and don’t get sucked in to doing ‘jobs’ around the house.
  • Remember to make time for yourself, go on that winter walk in your lunch break and try and keep to a routine.
  • Keep busy. Plan your diary to fill your working day and if meetings become few and far between, use that time to get ahead for January.
  • With most businesses operating a skeleton staff over Christmas, make sure that everyone has access to the rota – and don’t forget the hand over notes if colleagues are covering for different days.
  • Stay in touch. Set up a communications channel with colleagues working over Christmas. A simple ‘Hello’ or quick chat will make working from home less isolating.
  • Most importantly, enjoy whatever time you have over this very different Christmas period.