It’s the most wonderful time of… Oh, you get the idea.
Here at Mountbatten House, though, we like to think we do some pretty awesome stuff to celebrate the holidays.
Why do we do this? Well, because we have an excellent culture and because it’s fun, but also because it can be a tough time for a lot of people. There are many who dread the holidays for personal reasons; the emotions behind bereavements, relationship or family troubles and the like are often heightened around the festive period. The holidays, dark nights and the change in weather can also contribute to, or exacerbate, any pre-existing mental health issues such as SAD .
In more general terms, productivity can suffer. My grandad used to say my first car must’ve been built on a Friday due to its overall shoddy performance. We’ve all been guilty of taking the “that’ll do” approach on Fridays, knowing that we’ll deal with the consequences on the Monday. Often as we drift towards the Winter Soltice, this “churn it out and go home early” attitude intensifies for days or weeks at a time.
Our solution? Have tons of fun at work. Not only will this (hopefully) provide a welcome distraction for those afflicted with the aforementioned mental health or emotional struggles, but – without wanting to sound like a buzz kill – it consolidates the fun-having into specific activities. In our experience at Benefex, spending an hour doing something festive increases productivity for the rest of the day while simultaneously boosting general staff morale, too.
They don’t have to be huge, grand gestures either. As our Chief People Officer, Kathryn Kendall says, it’s the little things that make a difference.
It all starts on 1st December…
Our trees go up, we adorn the office with tinsel and sparkle, everyone gets an advent calendar, and we have a celebratory buffet as well to kick off the festive period. When you’re travelling to and from work in the dark, arriving at a bright and cheerful office can work wonders for staff morale.
12 Days of Christmas
Each day since then, leading up to our big holiday extravaganza, we’ve arrived at work to find a little treat on our desks. Sometimes they’re edible, sometimes they’re decorative, but every time, they’re full of fun. This means that every single day gets off to a good start (yes, even the day when we arrived to find sprouts) because it gives us a bit of a giggle, and it shows what an effort our organisation puts in to make us feel valued. 12 days’ worth of 180 gifts? That doesn’t happen by accident.
The Gingerbread Challenge
Yep, that’s right. We all build gingerbread houses. Marketing won this year…obviously. For that hour of creative escapism with our team, do you know what we got back? We got joy, dear readers, we got joy. And cupcakes for winning. But mostly joy. Seriously, though, we spent an hour in the morning building a gingerbread house, and the rest of the day was spent in a great mood, producing great work because of it.
You probably spend most hours of most days with your immediate team. So why not celebrate with them? At Benefex, every team get an afternoon off to go and have a festive turkey lunch. Or festive pizza. As long as it’s festive. The result? You get to catch up with those closest to you about something other than work. Ultimately, this closer bond will probably make you work together even better. Also, we pay for it ourselves, so it’s no expense to Benefex, but it’s the time which means the most. During the overwhelming hustle and bustle of this period, half a day to relax can be invaluable. #EmployeeAdvocacy!
The Big Fat Benefex Christmas Quiz
Our 12 Days of Christmas conclude with a giant, company-wide trivia-tastic climax. We’re quizzed on everything from "Guess the Intro", to "Christmas by numbers", to the events of 2016. Congratulations to our incredible winners, “Santa’s Little Helpers”. The bragging rights are yours for a year.
So, there you have it, a couple of low-budget tips to help you on your way to a productive final week before the holidays.