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The importance of reducing employee stress this Christmas

Although Christmas is a generally uplifting time of the year, it can bring a large amount of stress, especially for those juggling full-time jobs.

Factoring in rising costs and the financial impact of Covid-19, it is no surprise that Christmas expenses only heighten employee stress levels.

Additionally, the festive period is a very busy time for those tackling things like Christmas shopping and arranging family visits, therefore affecting work-life balance.

A recent Citizen’s Advice survey found that more than two-fifths of people are resorting to borrowing money to help cover the finances of Christmas this year.

Why is reducing employee stress important?

Financial stress can have a negative impact on both the general well-being and productivity of those in the workplace.

It is likely that employees will become less engaged when their minds are focused on money, potentially leading to mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.

What can employers do?

Although Christmas bonuses and pay rises aren’t something that all employers are able to offer, especially since the pandemic, there are a range of small yet effective ways to make a difference.

These include:

Discounts and schemes

Introducing rewards and benefits to help staff with finances is something to consider, without it becoming too expensive.

Think about offering perks that can bring value or some extra cash at Christmas. This may be in the form of gift cards and e-vouchers that employees are able to use in retail stores and hospitality venues.

As well as this, there are some cost-saving advantages to consider, such as employee cashback cards or online cashback.

Even though these are small measures, they can be highly effective for employees trying to save money during an already expensive time of year.

Flexible working

Taking a flexible approach to work schedules is a largely beneficial way to reduce your employees’ stress levels.

Whether this is flexibility on an employees’ working hours or allowing workers an extra day of annual leave, this will show your employees that you are taking their needs into consideration.

One day extra outside of paid time off or even an early log off time can do the world of good – especially if employees are stressed about time.

Commute costs

The commute to work can be incredibly stress-inducing for employees, and since the Covid-19 pandemic, many have seen how they can save money on commuting costs by working from home.

Due to this, employers may want to consider hybrid working and work from home opportunities over the Christmas period, if this is not in place already.

However, if being in the workplace is a necessity, it may be useful to look at commute related benefits for your workers, such as free staff parking or cycle to work schemes.

Christmas Culture

Lastly, to support employees who are feeling stressed this Christmas, creating a festive and cheerful environment in the workplace can lift spirits and ease worries.

This could be playing a Christmas quiz with colleagues, playing Christmas songs in the office, or organising a Christmas party for the team.

There are plenty of ways to reduce employee stress this festive period. Are you doing all that you can?

For help and advice on employment matters, contact our expert team.


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