Should the office open over Christmas?

For some the extra shut down days mean a sizeable loss of productivity and revenue, for others it makes financial sense if their customers have closed and their services are not needed.

Deciding whether to open or not is a decision each business owner must make based on their area of expertise and client base.

There will be some exceptions – if you work in retail or run a bar or restaurant, then of course you will be open.

Here a spokesperson from offers his tips on whether a Christmas shut down is the right thing for your business.

What are your customers doing?
The first question you must ask yourself is – are my customers going to be working over the holidays? If your client base is shutting down over Christmas, then there really is no point you being in the office unless you have administrative tasks to do. There will always be little jobs you can do if you’re in, but if you could do them as part of your normal working day, why interrupt the extended holiday?

Staff morale
Do the people you employ want to work over the holidays? Most of them will say no. This is one of the few times in the year when we can get almost two weeks off work and only need to take a few days out of our annual holiday allowance. Added to that, people spend the holidays with close family and friends and if you’ve spent hours travelling to see them, do you really want to cut the holiday short to go back to work?

Office times
If you’re in serviced office accommodation, remember to check what times the building will be open during the period. Some run just a weekend service – so letting yourself in and with limited office support available. Others will shut down completely. Do check on their plans before you make your decision.

Out of hours cover
Instead of having people in between Christmas and New Year, could you offer customers who are working an out of hours service? So provide them with mobile numbers of the people you will have available to speak with them should they need you.

New Year, fresh start
Whether you’ve had a tough year, or a record breaking one, giving your staff time off over the festive period gives them a chance to recharge their batteries ready for 2014. It’s also a way of saying thank you for all the hard work they’ve done.