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5 ways to cope with working on Christmas day

Posted by: Lauren Cox 17 Dec 15  | Life at Work

Last year’s figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest that 2.9% of the UK population work on Christmas day. It’s not always a silent night in the workplace; in fact, Christmas is the busiest time of year for the likes of hospitals and police and fire stations.

The list of festive workers is led by the police, NHS staff and those working in the care sector with “141,000 doctors, nursing staff and midwives working on the festive day, as well as 39,000 in the police, fire and ambulance services," in accordance to Nick Palmer of the ONS.

Whilst public sector employees may be all too aware that working during the festive season is a requirement that goes with the job, that doesn’t always stop them from feeling less than full of Christmas cheer.

So if you are going to be one of the many professionals unable to spend your Christmas day with your nearest and dearest, how can you possibly make the day at work more bearable?

Find your purpose

We all feel sorry for ourselves at times, but before investing all of your time pursuing sympathy, remember why you’re there. It may be that you’re caring for the elderly, encouraging public safety or looking after patients in hospital.

Use this as motivation in order to uplift your spirits; Christmas cheer makes the day go quicker!

Rearrange Christmas

There’s nothing worse than checking those pesky holiday rotas and finding out that you’ve been scheduled in to work on Christmas day. These decisions are never taken lightly, and holiday rotas are usually released in advance so plan ahead.

Leaving your family on Christmas day is inevitably going to be difficult, so rearrange some of your most valued Christmas traditions to a time when you’re not working.

Focus on your PMA

Positivity is infectious, but unfortunately so is negativity. Think positive mental attitude; exude this positivity, not only for your own personal happiness but to encourage all of those around you to be merry and bright!

Remember: positivity in the workplace is also essential for productivity and engagement.

Prepare emotionally

Working in the public and voluntary sectors and responding to people in need during the holiday season can be particularly gruelling on your emotional wellbeing.

Be flexible and expect that extra emotion.

Enjoy it

If you don’t get any additional perks from your employer for working on Christmas day, create your own; encourage colleagues to bring in homemade Christmas treats and spread the joy of Christmas throughout. If you can’t spend Christmas at home with your own family, Use those around you – you’re all in the same boat, after all!

Acceptance is key; assent that you’re working on Christmas day! The more you complain about it, the worse it will be. It’s expected that some people may take it better than others, but utilising these simple steps will help you to grin and bear it… until next year!


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