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As decorations start to adorn desks, and people begin to make plans for team festivities, we thought we would take the time to touch on a few points that are maybe more important at this time of the year more so than any other. Generally speaking, everyone seems to love the holidays, however, these 5 key points work as a reminder to both employees and employers what to bear in mind when getting into the festive spirit at work.

  1. Someone may not be taking part

Be considerate to those around you as not everyone may celebrate Christmas. Whilst it is a nationally recognised holiday here in the UK, there are many religious, personal or financial reasons a colleague may not be taking part. Be respectful to those around you, and don’t assume involvement. Try and lead with neutral and easy questions like “Have you anything exciting planned for your time off?” rather than presumptive questions like “Are you having all the family round for Christmas?”.

  1. Don’t let alcohol rule the roost

There is nothing worse than feeling like you’ve embarrassed yourself in a situation – whether you’ve jovially joked about getting in the spirit of things with someone who does not drink, or you’ve had one too many at the Christmas Party. Alcohol doesn’t have to be the centre of the celebrations, so why not try to plan a team dinner, or a night out bowling rather than the stereotypical bar crawl?

  1. Workload doesn’t take a break

Whilst it is lovely to be able to relax as the year comes to an end, for many, it is still a busy and stressful time, as Christmas can often mean deadlines for clients and projects. Be sympathetic to those around you who perhaps are feeling the brunt a bit more than you, and offer to help where you can, particularly so if it’s a team member whose load you actually can lighten.

  1. You’re still in work

Unless you are lucky enough to be self-employed, or you work in silo, it is likely that the impact of your behaviour will be felt by the people you work with, and vice versa. If you’re in a position to, remind your team that you expect them to still behave like they’re at work – arrive on time, be attentive to clients, finish their work. However, if you’re not in a managerial position, talk to your manager if someone’s behaviour is grating on you. It’s better to discuss it and nip it in the bud than let it fester and cause tension.

  1. Remember that it ‘tis the season

In direct contrast with the rest of my advice, do try to keep in mind it is the season of giving and joy. Perhaps the team member who turned up late wasn’t out partying but drowning their sorrows because it’s a hard time of the year. Or maybe there was a client lunch that overran and your team were late back, but they have over-delivered this year on that particular client’s output. Be mindful of the time of the year, the emotional impact it might have and similarly why your colleagues deserve a break as 2019 comes to an end.

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