Will you be checking your email over Christmas?


With the Christmas week just around the corner, you’ll likely already have an idea of what your business will be doing over the festive period, whether that’s closing down or simply ensuring that staff have enough time off to spend with their family.

However, just how connected do you expect your staff to be? Are you expecting people to check emails? To come in if there’s an emergency?

A survey last year found that two thirds of staff will be checking work emails over the Christmas period whilst 20% will check emails on a daily basis. Most people can identify with the urge to stay in the loop whilst on holiday, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, the business benefits of having staff who are properly rested and rejuvenated can far outweigh those of having ‘always on’ employees, scrambling to answer unimportant emails at 12am on a Sunday.

02E Brands have even created a roadmap for unplugging over the holidays. Details can be found here, but we’ve summarised the process below:

  1. Book time off at a suitable time.
  2. Choose an SPA (single point of accountability) to represent you in your absence. Ensure that they have a full handover from you.
  3. Plan for your time off, identifying any potential roadblocks.
  4. Tell your team when you’ll be off (send a diary invite). Plus, ensure that they know who your SPA is.
  5. Set out of office messages
  6. Schedule a catch up with your team and SPA for when you get back
  7. Relax!

Of course, this is contingent on finding a good SPA to take the load whilst you’re away, which may be difficult if you work in a small business, or have a specialised position. However, if you aim to follow this process then you can work on training an employee over the long term, so that when the next holiday comes around, they are well placed to step into your shoes.

If you’re closing up the office over Christmas, then you won’t have to worry about staff finding cover over the festive period, however you may want to consider putting a blanket ban on employees accessing email so that they don’t feel pressured to carry on working regardless and have no option but to unplug and enjoy Christmas!

Remember to follow us on Twitter @switchmybiz for the latest energy news and small business tips! 

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