Christmas is a delightful time of year for those who celebrate the occasion, and for those who don’t the annual time off can still be highly important in terms of taking time to unwind avoiding the dreaded burn-out. However it does seem that employees are ahead of their employers when it comes to when this break begins, as new research conducted by HR analytics firm Peakon has revealed that among those whose offices remain open, 57% of the UK workforce admit to officially clocking off as of today (Monday 18th December).

The survey of over 2,000 UK employees shows that as we approach the Christmas break, employees are becoming increasingly distracted by things outside of their everyday work duties. For example 42% of respondents confess to clocking off to shop online for Christmas presents. Meanwhile 35% say they’re planning Christmas day, and 30% are planning their Christmas break. Additionally 17% of respondents admit to leaving work earlier than usual, 12% take elongated lunch breaks, and 4% go so far as to call off sick.

As for why these individuals begin to skirt or evade their duties, 21% insist they are simply too excited to properly focus on their work, while 21% say they feel ‘burnt-out’ and well in need of a break. 32% meanwhile gave the rather reasonable justification that business had slowed down and there was simply less work to be done at this time of year.

Peakon’s co-founder, Dan Rogers, commented, “I think it’s fair to say that the great Christmas ‘click-off’ is well and truly a thing, with a silent agreement in most workplaces that productivity takes a hit at this time of year. As a business, the worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand; it pays to try to understand what is going on.

“Acknowledge that this dip is inevitable and plan around it. Think of it as good time to regroup as a team, gather feedback on the progress you have made during the year, and plan how you will continue in January. Most businesses, with the exception of retail, experience a slow down around this time of year anyway, so trust your team and let them relax a little. Many employees are unlikely to have taken a break since summer, and will be more prone to burnout. If you look after the wellbeing of your team, you’ll ultimately get the best out of them.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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