Step Away from the Laptop and Step into Christmas!
As the years seem to get busier and busier and pass more quickly, with ever growing (and never completed) to do lists, it can be hard sometimes to step away from work and embrace time off. But with many UK businesses closing over the festive period for 8 days or more, the emails slow down and, for some, there’s finally some breathing space.
Now, it’s true that Christmas is not necessarily the most relaxing of holidays (cue another long and never ending to do list…!), it can still be a chance to step away from the laptop and embrace something altogether different from the endless emails, meetings and deadlines.
We’ve put together some of the benefits of the festive break from work:
According to the Corporate Wellness expert Alan Kohll, “Employees gain focus and energy after stepping away from their desks.” Granted, this was advice relating to the long-lost lunch break, but it can also apply to stepping away from the laptop and constant work emails, to do something completely different and fill your mind with festive cheer and Gavin and Stacy Christmas specials, instead of presentations and deadlines.
There’s also something about a brand new year (and decade) that can help the mind start afresh and return to work with increased productivity, creativity and focus.
Improved mental well-being
Spending time cooped up in the house with over excited children for 8 days (lets pray for some dry weather at least) or lots of time with the “in-laws” might not be the immediate recipe for reducing stress and recharging the batteries, but it is a different type of stress and is at least a big distraction from the pressures of the 21st century work place.
According to Elizabeth Scott, “It is important to take a break from the job, the routine, and the demands of life in order to keep stress levels in check”. Breaks from the workplace can help avoid chronic stress and “help interrupt the cycle of stress that can lead to being overwhelmed” and you should “prioritise rest and fun, during the break”. Now understandably, rest may not be fully available at Christmastime, but the opportunity for fun is seemingly on tap, whether it be catching up with not-often seen friends and family or becoming a child again helping with your kids’ new Lego, it is a chance to do the ‘fun stuff’ without the guilt that often comes with taking a well-earned break from work.
Chance to reconnect with the family
Feeling guilty that work demands keep us from spending quality time with our loved-ones, is common amongst the modern workforce. Whether it is the pressures of raising a family whilst holding a demanding job, or cancelling on friends because of yet another work event or because we are simply too tired after another relentless work week, quality time with family and friends often falls down the list of priorities. Christmas can be a great time for putting loved-ones front and centre.
Have a quiet one
Of course, you may be looking forward to a quieter Christmas with the space to take some time, unwind, sleep in, catch up on Netflix. A perfect break from work when the emails slow down and your boss doesn’t schedule another meeting. Fully embrace this break and prepare yourself for 2020!
Of course, there may be some benefits of working over the festive period…
If the thought of eight days cooped up with the family, squabbling over trivial pursuit (a particular pastime of ours), overeating, over drinking, and being forced into general merriment fills you with dread, there can be benefits of working whilst everyone else is off…
Isabelle Fraser, in her 2016 article for the Telegraph, discussed the upsides including:
- “Finding a seat on public transport” (although don’t be surprised to find this scuppered by festive ‘engineering works’);
- “An excuse to get out of unappealing Christmas parties” (family get togethers; over excited and emotional children; endless games of charades; copious washing up…delete as appropriate);
- “Become an expert procrastinator”…look like you’re working but using the quietness of an empty office to clean out your desk drawers/email folders/play indoor football with Bob from accounts…;
- “When you get home, you have more of a claim over Christmas TV watching schedule”. Enough said;
- “It might actually be fun…get that Christmassy drink and indulge in a fancy lunch. You deserve it, you’re working over Christmas, you poor thing!”
Whatever the festive time means for you, we wish you a very merry (and restful) Christmas!