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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-12

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Workers 'too excited' by Christmas to concentrate on the job

WELL over ½ of employed Brits (61%) admit to being distracted at work by Christmas as early as November, according to new research by HR analytics company Peakon. A survey of more than 2000 people reveals that, for those of us who can hold our attention until December, we can't wait much longer; with 18% of people saying they start to get distracted by festivities on the 1st of the month.

As Christmas creeps ever closer, employees admit to a whole raft of distractions from their everyday work duties. 42% of people confess to doing Christmas shopping online, 35% say they're planning Christmas day and 30% are planning their Christmas break instead. 16% confess to indulging in the odd Christmas tipple on the job; with men twice as likely to take advantage of a festive drink than women (22% and 11% respectively). 17% of those surveyed leave work earlier than usual, and 12% take longer lunches. A small percentage 4 confess to calling in sick.

When asked why they'd slacked off, 21% respondents said they were simply 'too excited' to focus. 32% said they had too much to plan ahead of Christmas day, 21% admitted to feeling 'burnt out' and 19% said workplace festivities such as Secret Santa or the office party were to blame. 32% said it was simply the case that business has slowed down and there's less work to do at this time of year.

To gauge when the disruption to businesses would become palpable, Peakon conducted a follow up study of 3,000 UK workers and found that 57% admitted to their productivity noticeably declining ahead of the final week before Christmas, starting, on 18 Monday 2017.

Dan Rogers, co-founder of Peakon, which helps businesses to measure employee engagement and retention, says:- "I think it's fair to say that the great Christmas 'click-off' is well and truly a thing, with a silent agreement in most workplaces that productivity takes a hit at this time of year. As a business, the worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand; it pays to try to understand what is going on. Acknowledge that this dip is inevitable and plan around it. Think of it as good time to regroup as a team, gather feedback on the progress you have made during the year, and plan how you will continue in January. Most businesses, with the exception of retail, experience a slow down around this time of year anyway, so trust your team and let them relax a little. Many employees are unlikely to have taken a break since summer, and will be more prone to burnout. If you look after the well-being of your team, you'll ultimately get the best out of them."

Some employers are tackling this head on. Online marketing agency Distilled has offered employees Christmas shopping hours, whereby workers can take Friday afternoon off if they make up the time during the week. Distilled's CEO, Will Critchlow, says:- "A bit of distraction is inevitable at this time of year. We're all human. So at Distilled, we don't try to fight it too much - with flexibility for shopping, the odd long lunch, and generally trusting the team to plan their time. We might take a bit of a hit at this time of the year, but we trust our team and we know it balances out over time."

For more detailed results, data visualisations and top tips for employers visit:- Peakon.Com.


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