Nearly half office staff ‘will check work emails at Xmas’

43 per cent of office employees will check their work emails over Christmas. Picture: Supplied.
43 per cent of office employees will check their work emails over Christmas. Picture: Supplied.
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Almost half of Scottish office workers will log on to work and check email on Christmas Day, new research has found.

And while 43 per cent will do so on December 25 the figure rises to more than half (53 per cent) on Christmas Eve, according to TLF Research for technology firm eShare.

This was higher than the overall UK figures of 33 per cent expecting to work on Christmas Day and 47 per cent on Christmas Eve.

Almost a third (32 per cent) of those surveyed in Scotland said they would log on to work every day of the Christmas holidays, more than the UK figure of 20 per cent.

It also appears that more than a third of Scottish workers felt it was expected of them to work during the festive period.

Four in ten (41 per cent) said that their clients expect them to be available over Christmas and 40 per cent said other colleagues expected it of them, while a third (33 per cent) said they expected their colleagues also to work over Christmas.

Alister Esam, CEO of eShare, said: “The way many of us live and work now means that taking a complete break from the office is neither desirable nor practical for a great number of people. That’s certainly the case for many in Scotland this year.

“While traditionalists might lament the changing Christmas work habits, if it helps people relax to quickly check urgent email, or even take time from the festivities to draft an urgent document, then is there really a problem with that?

“While business certainly slows down in Scotland at Christmas, modern businesses trade all over the world and with many countries and cultures not celebrating Christmas, it stands to reason certain people within an organisation will need to be contactable and on top of anything that might be happening.

“Most frequently it will be the business owners or board level executives at large firms that feel the need to stay in touch, but there are ways to manage Christmas work so that it doesn’t become all consuming.”

However working at Christmas does not appear to be negative for everyone, with 15 per cent of respondents saying they worked at Christmas because they get bored, while 23 per cent said working gives them a chance to sneak away from their family for a bit.

Almost half of respondents (43 per cent) said it was less relaxing for them to be unaware of what might be happening at work while 43 per cent of those surveyed said it was vital they knew of anything important going on in the business.

Mr Esam suggested that those who do need to work over the festive period ringfence some time each day to check emails.