Christmas click off – the date when Brits finally give up

From Friday 16th December 2016 over half of people working in Britain will have started winding down for Christmas.

Employee engagement platform, Peakon, has conducted research to discover the day in December when productivity in the UK will plummet, as weary staff turn their thoughts towards the Christmas holidays and click off.

With the festive season seemingly starting earlier and earlier each year, Peakon assessed the workplace engagement levels of 3,000 British employees, to determine the day in 2016 when the majority of people are likely to click off for Christmas.

As part of the research, Peakon identifies nine cumulative factors that contribute to the fall in productivity, and has split these across three categories (distraction, health, and demotivation). Peakon co-founder Dan Rogers, who is an expert in employee engagement, has provided possible solutions that employers can adopt to maintain productivity levels throughout the festive season.

From 16th December over half of people working in Britain (54 per cent) will have started to click off, 12 per cent of British workforce admit that they will click off before December even begins.

Over a quarter of employees (26 per cent) say they lose focus past 9th December. Only 7 per cent of workers claim they will maintain their productivity levels after 23rd December. Younger people are likely to click off earlier, with the majority of Millennials say they will wind down from 15th.

More than 50 per cent of over 55s, by contrast, will wait until 20th before they click off.

Dan Rogers, co-founder of Peakon and an expert in employee engagement, comments, ‘In isolation, these factors would ordinarily have a negligible impact on productivity, however, the combined effect definitely takes its toll on weary employees thinking wistfully ahead to their Christmas turkey.’

‘The factors themselves fall into three categories: Distraction, Health, and Demotivation. For employers and managers intending to bring a healthy dose of Christmas spirit into their offices, without any of the negative effects on staff, we have provided some Scrooge-free remedies to the factors below.’


Staff covertly ordering presents online during office hours – ‘Provide staff with designated time slots, outside of the lunch hour, where they can make essential Christmas purchases, guilt-free and without any resentment of their over-demanding employers.’

Staff covertly searching for new jobs online during office hours ahead of the New Year – ‘Longer-serving staff might herald the looming New Year as an opportunity for a change, so make sure you take the time to personally remind employees how important they are to the company, and provide them with a clear vision of ambition and growth which they won’t want to miss.’

‘Having said that, if you’re aware that staff are using company time to search for an escape, your office culture probably needs an all-round makeover, let alone a seasonal one.’

Internal office environment becoming contagiously disengaged, and ‘vibing’ off other Scrooge-like companies/suppliers you interact with – ‘The trick here is to create a healthy Christmas spirit for your office that everyone else wants to catch. The disengagement is often down to staff yearning for the festive feeling, so get the Christmas Party in the diary well in advance, decorate your office, and steadily build the festivities into those dark December days with Secret Santa gift exchanges, spontaneous Christmas cracker sessions, and emergency carol recitals.’


Increased alcohol consumption and party season fatigue – ‘Keep your office stocked with caffeinated drinks, fresh water, fruit, and high-carbohydrate snacks to help boost weary staff’s energy levels.’

Over indulgence in sugary, festive treats in the office (often erroneously administered by employers as a motivating tool) – ‘To avoid mid-afternoon sugar crashes in the office, don’t lavish the treats and mince pies until after 4pm. This will provide a sugar rush towards the end of the working day, and a final spike in productivity, after which they can crash in their own time.’

Sickness, increase in common cold, flu, etc. – ‘If your company is not able to organise annual flu-jabs for your staff, make sure your employees are provided with antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser, and encourage them to keep their workstations clean and tidy, to avoid spread of bugs and viruses. Having a plentiful supply of paracetamol and anti-flu medicine would not go amiss either.’


Bad weather causing severe delays to transport – ‘Be understanding of staff who might be late due to travel issues. Make sure your office is warm, well-lit and welcoming.’

The perpetual darkness outside and reluctance to get out of bed – ‘Flexible working hours could be useful here. In the deep midwinter, staff morale can plummet when it seems as though all their time spent outside the office is in complete darkness. Allow staff, on rotation, to enter the office later in the morning when lighter, resulting in a later finish.’

Annual reviews are normally completed in late November, resulting in either complacency or disillusionment in the month afterwards – ‘As tempting as it is to just say ‘we’ll re-evaluate this in the new year’, by doing so you run the risk of losing four weeks of clear direction. Set your staff some achievable objectives to complete before January, to maintain their sense of purpose before the Christmas break click off.’

Further reading on Christmas website

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics