The days of Scrooge only grudgingly giving his employee Bob Cratchit the day off at Christmas are thankfully past. While there are many who do work on Christmas Day, everyone typically gets at least some time off over the Christmas period to rest, relax and to enjoy the festivities. But there are plenty of reasons that working over the Christmas period really is great!
1. Enjoy an easier commute
However long your commute is, at Christmas time, things are so much easier. On most days the roads are empty, and the trains and buses are far less crowded. Your commute into work will be quicker and easier, which always puts you in a good frame of mind for work.
2. Achieve more
If the office is quiet and you’re one of the only people in, then it’s a great time to get lots of work done without distraction. There will be no annoying interruptions from staff or colleagues, no endless meetings to attend, and fewer emails or phone calls to take. You can get stuck into that report you’ve been putting off, or clear your overflowing email inbox. It’s also a great time to file away the year’s work or to do some electronic archiving.
3. Complete your tax return
If you have to submit a tax return, then the self-assessment deadline is the end of January for online filing. At this time of year, with the Christmas period on your mind, the end of January may seem an age away. But it will come around soon enough and finishing your tax return ahead of time, especially when you have a quiet time to complete it, will be so beneficial. It seems that for many it’s a bit of a Christmas tradition. Two years ago, HMRC reported that more than 24,000 tax returns were filed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
4. Plan for next year
If you haven’t already planned what you’ll be doing next year, then the quiet period over Christmas is a great time to do this. Strategic and operational plans may already be in place, but you can use this time to flesh those out and build on them, detailing more tactical plans. And if you’ve done all that already, then this is a great time to work on your own personal development plans.
5. Meet customer demand
If you’re a small company, you may not want to close down for a long time over Christmas. You may have customers looking to buy your products or use your services at this time of year. In this case, closing up shop is just not an option. And in some industries, like hospitality and retail, you may need to be open, even on Christmas Day itself.
6. Earn more
Depending on the work you do, and whether or not you are obliged to be in work over Christmas, it is possible that you will earn more money if you are. This isn’t the case for everyone – and it certainly isn’t if you’re the boss – but if it is, then take advantage of it. The hours are often shorter, the work can be less demanding, the mood in the office is more festive and fun, and all the time you’re earning more! It’s a win-win.
7. Avoid social events
No-one wants to go to a Christmas party or gathering that they’re not going to enjoy. If you want to avoid the in-laws or Great Aunt Mabel, then going into the office might be prove to be much more appealing. It’s up to you whether or not you tell them you don’t have to go in!
8. Give your staff more time off
If you’re in charge and are a benevolent boss, then working over Christmas to cover the office requirements may allow some of your staff to take leave. If you need your office to be staffed, then stepping up to do it will show you can lead from the front. Your employees will love you for it. And anyway, you could be using the time to achieve more or to plan for next year, so you’ll be taking the praise when you might have wanted to work regardless.
9. Work hard so you can play hard
Working some extra hours or days over Christmas may just let you get enough done so that you can feel comfortable enough to switch off your mobile and stop checking emails for a few days. Rest and recovery is important for everyone, so if you use your time wisely and get ahead while things are quiet, you will be able to more fully enjoy the time you do take away from the office.