How to keep staff happy over Christmas!


Does your business stay open over the festive period? Well if so, you’re not alone. Research found that four in 10 (44%) professionals will be working over Christmas; and unsurprisingly, one in three (35.3%) aren’t looking forward to it.

But who can blame them? Synonymous with great food and good quality time with our loved ones, the festive season is all about kicking back and taking some much needed time out. It’s no wonder then that the majority are sad about missing out on spending time with their family.

Alongside this, one in four struggle with there being less work to do during this quieter period. No-one wants to sit around twiddling their thumbs when they could be at home watching Love Actually; but unfortunately, many companies offer services that can’t come to a halt over Christmas.

Not every organisation will be quiet. Indeed, if you work in retail or hospitality, then your business will likely boom during this time. So, it’s important to consider what your employees might be giving up to be at work.

Sure, you’re paying them, but there are steps you can take to make coming to work during this period that little bit easier.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together our advice on keeping staff happy over Christmas. So sit back, relax, and check out our top tips.

Make the workplace more relaxed

During the festive season it’s important to let go of the reins a little!  Create an atmosphere of joy around the workplace and ensure your employees feel as relaxed as Santa over the festive period.

After all, our research found that a relaxed working environment is one of the best parts of working over Christmas for over a third (38.3%) of professionals.

One great way to do this is by putting in place a more casual and festive dress code than usual; who doesn’t love a novelty Christmas jumper! You can also decorate the office or workspace to keep your employees feeling festive.

Understandably, your employees are still there to work. But, by relaxing the rules a little you’ll show them that you trust them to get on with the job.



Have some festive fun

There are plenty of ways to spread cheer around the workplace. During the day, why not play some Christmas music?! One in four (24%) respondents said this is the best part about working over the festive season.

You can also organise a Secret Santa amongst your employees. This doesn’t need to be anything extravagant; you can set a limit on the spend to keep costs down.

Allow for a bit of down time every now and then, especially if your workplace is much quieter during this time. Perhaps you could organise a Christmas quiz, give out satirical end-of-year awards, play board games, do a charity fundraiser or put on a festive lunch.

Organise staff social events

Then there’s the big one; the Christmas office party, depending on the size of your company, you may not choose to host a huge event. But, at the very least, be sure to organise after work drinks or a Christmas meal out for your team.

After all, it can help to keep staff feeling motivated as you near the end of the year. Not to mention that it gives them a nice opportunity to socialise with one another outside of the work environment.

If you can afford to pay for this event yourself – even better. Every business should ideally have a budget set aside for staff entertainment. These sorts of perks can influence how much someone enjoys working for you; so make sure you put the effort in.

Offer flexible working hours

Let’s face it, being stuck at work isn’t ideal when your family are at home celebrating; your employees would probably rather be eating leftover turkey and taking part in a traditional Christmas movie marathon.  But, if your company requires it then it’s just part of the job!

Another way to ease the blow of working over Christmas is by offering flexible working. If your office is usually open 9-5.30, why not switch it slightly so people only need to work 9.30-4? That way, they’ve still got a long evening to enjoy time with their loved ones.

If you allow your staff to work from home this is also the perfect compromise. That way the work is getting done, but they can do it in the comfort of their own home.

Of course, if your workplace isn’t office-based, these options might not be available. So, if your employees are working shifts, make sure they’re fair for each employee. It can be a bit of a nightmare to organise, but it’s important.

Consider a Christmas bonus

Offering a Christmas bonus is a great way to show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work; not just over the Christmas period, but over the year as a whole.

The amount you pay will of course depend on the size of your business and your revenue. However, if you can afford to give your staff a little extra for their efforts, it always goes down well!

In fact, this came second on the list of top Christmas perks, with 29.3% of professionals agreeing. Consider what’s going to work for your company; you may prefer to give other perks instead.

Final thoughts

Having to work over Christmas can be frustrating for employees; especially if they’re missing out on social activities or time with there family.

As long as you bear this in mind when your staff are at work over the festive period, you’ll stand a much better chance of keeping them happy.

So, take these small steps to help make your workspace and the atmosphere feel more relaxed and full of festive cheer!