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Managing Holiday, Office Shutdowns and Supporting local South-West Businesses this Christmas

September 14, 2021

We know it’s only just been summer but the countdown to Christmas and the festive period really is here! From a business perspective, now is the time start planning.

Have you considered if you’re having a traditional party this year? Do you have an office shutdown over the festive period? Is it the end of your holiday year? Do you have staff members with excess holiday accrued from Furlough? Are you supporting local firms this Christmas? Do you need some inspiration for unique festive things to do?

Read on for answers, tips and tricks for successfully planning this year’s festive season!

Christmas Office Shutdown

For some firms, this may already be in place and something you’ve done for years. There are both pros and cons to halting the business during Christmas and New Year. For some business sectors a shutdown isn’t ever an option and is perhaps one of the busiest times. But for those organisations that can shutdown here are some things to consider:

Pro’s to an office shutdown

  • It’s an opportunity for employees to switch off and embrace the holiday period, without the fear of missing vital e-mails, including business owners that could be close to burnout.
  • Improve employee moral through a clear break from work and opportunity to re-set.
  • Reduces any backlog of holiday being carried over.

Pro’s to keeping the office open

  • Keeps the business ticking over and ensures your clients and contacts continue to have the support they need, may even provide the business with a competitive advantage remaining open and accessible.
  • Opportunity for staff to utilise the quieter period to get on top of the jobs that have been at the bottom of the priority pile for some time!

Cybercrime and cyberattack activity generally increase over the festive period so do ensure you and your teams have backed up essential data, anti-virus software is up-to-date and passwords are unique and changed regularly.

If you do decide to shutdown between Christmas and New Year – this needs to be clearly communicated asap as it is quite late in the day to make this announcement!

From a legal perspective, if you decide to do a firmwide shutdown you need to give your employees twice the notice as leave to be taken. If you need any support or clarification, then do speak to your usual HR Consultant or get in touch with us direct: hello@risehr.co.uk.

Excess Holiday Allowance

2021 has seen an exceptional amount of holiday accrued, much of this has been due to the impact of 2020 and Covid19:

  • Individuals have been reluctant to take holiday as unable to go away as they normally would
  • Staff that have been furloughed have now accrued holiday and haven’t had the opportunity to use it up

Now is the time to have conversations with your teams/employees that this applies to. Encourage a break from work, even if it’s not officially going on a holiday. There’s still time for days to be scheduled in over the next few months. Capping the number of days to be carried over will encourage employees to take more days, otherwise they’ll lose out.

If you require support with managing holiday and those that have excess, please do get in touch and we’d be happy to help support you.

Christmas Party post Covid19?

Given the year we’ve had and the looming uncertainty about this coming winter, it’s likely you will encounter a mix of opinions and thoughts towards whether a staff Christmas party should/shouldn’t take place. We understand from both sides. If you decide to move away from the traditional festive dinner/party, there are still things you can do to engage and motivate staff and spread some festive cheer.  Below are a few unique ideas from local suppliers to consider:

Little Kitchen – Attend a Christmas Bread Making workshop at a local Bristol venue. Learn step by step how to make a very tasty Brie and Cranberry Tear and Share Wreath and Frosted Mincemeat Buns!

Dixie Dot Crafts – a Gloucestershire based business that can come to your offices and staff can create bespoke personalised baubles or pottery… you could even make it a family friendly event?

Daisy Belle Floral – order ahead some wreath making kits to do in a venue of your choice, with excellent detailed tips, tricks and all the materials provided by Eve at Daisy Belle Floral.

Rosie Somerset Lettering – a small Bristol business that can offer Calligraphy Christmas card making – learning how to make professional looking cards using the technique of calligraphy.

The Botanist – attend a Cocktail Mixing session at The Botanist in Cheltenham, learn from the professionals and enjoy a drink with colleagues!

These are just a few examples of alternative ‘Christmas Party’ ideas from some local Bristol and Gloucestershire businesses. Now more than ever, supporting our local firms is vital, and very appreciated by them. We’d love to hear any other small business recommendations!

As always, please do let us know if you have any questions on this blog or if you require any support with your Christmas planning, from team building activities to admin support; managing holidays or an office shutdown. Please get in touch with us direct: Rise HR Ltd, call us on 0844 854 6704 or email us at hello@risehr.co.uk.