How to cope with the stresses brought on by Christmas

The weeks leading up to Christmas should be full of joy and happiness. However for many of the working population the time before and after the Christmas season can involve a number of additional pressures brought on by both workload and family commitments.

The increased demand on a work life balance can affect productivity in the work place a well as overall health and wellbeing. Whilst many businesses close over the festive period there are a number of companies, especially in retail, that will remain open right up until Christmas Eve and then open again on Boxing Day.

Many employees will be struggling to ensure that they have bought, wrapped and sent their Christmas presents to family and friends, as well as booked holiday days for their children’s nativity plays, managed school holidays and planned, shopped and finally prepare and cook Christmas lunch on the day itself and still manage the needs of their job.

Often over the Christmas period offices that are open tend to work with limited employees actually in the office to ensure everyone is able to have some holiday. The employees that are left in the offices are then faced with an increased workload leading to an increase in stress levels.

Around the festive time and most particularly as one year ends and we prepare for the new year ahead companies tend to see an increase in demand for their products or services. People like to wrap up ongoing business before Christmas or use the New Year to invest and enquire about a new service.

Pressure can also be put on employees as over the winter months there tends to be a rise in employee absenteeism as sickness levels increase. Employers need to be aware of this when creating a Christmas working rota.

Employees should also note a potential decrease in employee productivity due to employees thinking about what to buy family members as a Christmas present or just general tiredness caused by festive activities. Encouraging employees to take breaks during the working day can help keep motivational levels at a high.

Weather conditions can also cause issues for employees working during winter. Employers should ensure that they have in place a clear structure of the implications if an employee is unable to attend work. Employers should not feel that they are expected to drive in dangerous conditions but equally a business should still run regardless of the weather. It is also important that employees do not take advantage of a ‘snow policy’ and work from home unnecessarily.

Whilst celebrating Christmas with family and friends, away from the work place, it is important to remember your own wellbeing, avoiding too much partying, drinking and over indulgence.

Try and avoid drinking too much alcohol or eating too many sugary foods, both of which can have an effect on the body. Take the time to get some fresh air, a walk or light exercise and top up your water consumption can help ease the discomforts of any festive over indulgence.

As a health and wellbeing insurance broker, BDHL offer a range of bespoke packages that benefit businesses, employees and individuals. These are tailor designed to ensure that we are offering the best available deal on the market.

Let BDHL take care of your health employee benefits. We can talk you through the various options available that could be suitable for your business. Call us on +44 (0)1892 891 900 or email