Time to close the office?

Hundreds of islanders will be heading off early from work today to enjoy a Christmas lunch or a few drinks with colleagues. Next week is a funny one; Monday is Christmas Eve – not a lot of productivity that day – then we have two days off, only to go back to work on a Thursday. That is, unless, you had the foresight (and enough annual leave left) to take those two days off.

The question is, should we be keeping offices open in that week between Christmas and New Year when people want to be at home with their families? Here at Firstcall we appreciate that many sectors, like finance, simply can’t close up for the whole of Christmas week. But we have come up with five reasons why companies that can should shut the office at Christmas.

1. Productivity is improved

Hard as it may be to believe, people who take holidays are more productive. Surveys have shown that employees who take regular holidays are more engaged at work and get more done. They enjoy their work more and they’re easier to work with. We all know that going on holiday makes us happy and this has a knock-on effect back in the office.

2. Most people you deal with will be out of the office anyway

There’s nothing more frustrating than an ‘out of office’ email when you’re trying to get things sorted. The truth is many of your clients, colleagues, business partners and customers will be away over the Christmas period. So, making workers sit at a desk to achieve very little is not a smart way of running a business.

3. Save on heating and lighting

Heating and lighting a partially empty office and having IT support on call is pretty pointless for the handful of people who didn’t have time left to take at Christmas.

4. Healthier employees

Working month after month without a break is no good for anyone. Most bosses ensure that their employees take at least two whole weeks off a year. Even if it’s just to stay on island, it’s nice to have a lie in or do those things around the house you never get around to doing. By closing your office at Christmas you are making sure that they take a third week off. Also, surveys show that taking holidays can cut the risk of heart attacks in men by 50% and in women by 30%.

5.Your staff will love you

As far as perks of the job go, having Christmas off is up there. Plus, coordinating who can and can’t be off at the same time can be a logistical nightmare. Some of the biggest companies in the world, like Apple, do it. So can it really such a bad idea?

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