With the festive season fast approaching, offices around the country are becoming emptier as employees clock off to take those well-deserved end-of-year breaks. But what about those last remaining stalwarts left to man the fort while the rest of the staff contingent engages in full-fledged festive revelry?
December can be a very strange time for organisations, who are left with few hands on deck and a limited staff contingent who would clearly rather be somewhere else. But despite the traditional seasonal go-slow, there’s still work to be done, calls to be answered and bills to be paid. And the truth is, there’s no better time to do it.
With so many things on the go during the Christmas period – last minute shopping, menu planning and family entertaining among them – offices tend to be relatively dead spaces over this time, with staff members sleepwalking through their daily duties, clocking in and clocking out with relatively little investment in the outcome. And the truth is, many organisations tend to encourage this laissez-faire attitude, swept up in the festive spirit as the calls start dwindling and inboxes begin to dry up. But to simply keep your doors open for the sake of it is to miss the point of the season, because, bereft of distractions and pressing deadlines, there lies an unprecedented opportunity to get things done.
So how do you make the most of the festive season and ensure you’re not simply holding your staff hostage because they ran out of leave? Here are a few effective ways to capitalise on Christmas time, whilst sustaining appropriate levels of cheer of course:
December is a great time to reflect on the past year’s successes and failures. So instead of watching your team’s Christmas spirit being brutally sapped by tedious tasks, you might want to look at alternative forms of work that are somewhat less demanding in the way of mental fortitude.
This year, why not invite members of your team to offer honest feedback on the year gone by, and to work on ideas on how to improve things once the yuletide frenzy has passed. Without the constant buzz of deadlines, you’ll be able to more easily conduct a comprehensive business audit, and work on making 2017 your best year yet.
Cut down those to-do lists
As is customary at this time of year, people tend to have a lot more going on in their personal lives than usual. By easing up their festive obligations, either by reducing overall workload or assigning tasks that require short, sharp bursts of energy, you’ll not only help to sustain enthusiasm levels over the festive season, but also ensure that time is efficiently used to focus on the jobs that really need doing.
Christmas is the one time of year when everybody is clamouring for leave, so it’s important that you co-ordinate schedules well ahead of time so as to ensure everyone gets their due. Whilst it might be impossible to shut your doors completely, chances are you can greatly reduce your staff contingent without a significant dip in productivity. So make sure to plan out your festive to-do list well ahead of time, working out precisely how many hands you need on deck to work through it – after all, there’s no point in having too many cooks in the kitchen. This way, you’ll start the new year off with a well rested team, and have just enough members on hand to get you from Christmas to the 2nd of January intact.
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