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Should We Work Over the Christmas Break? The Case for Taking a Well-Deserved Rest

Should We Work Over the Christmas Break? The Case for Taking a Well-Deserved Rest

written by Amber McGough

Should We Work Over the Christmas Break? The Case for Taking a Well-Deserved Rest

As we approach the festive season, many professionals find themselves grappling with a common dilemma - should they work over the Christmas break? In a world that increasingly blurs the lines between work and personal life, it's crucial to consider the importance of taking a well-deserved break during the holiday season.

According to a 2021 study, an estimated 3.4% of the UK working population had to work on Christmas Day. Surprisingly, more women (547,000) were engaged in paid employment on this festive day compared to men (535,000). Among the notable Christmas Day workers, clergy and organists stand out, underscoring the diverse range of professions that may require holiday duty (Source: University of Birmingham Business School).

However, the question of working over the Christmas break extends beyond those with mandatory holiday shifts. It's a question that professionals across various sectors struggle with, often feeling the pressure to stay connected even during a time traditionally reserved for rest and celebration.

One crucial aspect to consider is the need to switch off your work phone during non-working periods. While this advice may not be exclusive to the festive season, it becomes especially relevant during holidays. The temptation to check emails or respond to work messages can erode the precious moments of relaxation that holiday leave is meant to provide.

Holiday leave is not just a break from your workplace; it's an opportunity to relax, recharge, and spend quality time with loved ones. In a world that often glorifies busyness, taking a step back and truly unwinding becomes a necessity, not a luxury. The Christmas break offers a chance to escape the daily grind, allowing you to return to work in the new year with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

While some may argue that staying busy during the break is a way to feel productive, it's essential to differentiate between meaningful activities and simply filling up your time. Engaging in activities that bring you joy, whether it's spending time with family, pursuing a hobby, or simply enjoying the quiet moments, is key to making the most of your holiday leave.

In the age of smartphones and constant connectivity, the temptation to check work emails is ever-present. Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to take a 'quick' glance at our inboxes. However, this Christmas, consider prioritising yourself and making a conscious effort to detach from work. The benefits of a true break extend beyond the immediate relaxation – it can contribute to improved mental well-being, increased productivity upon return, and a better work-life balance.

In conclusion, the decision to work over the Christmas break is a personal one, but the case for taking a well-deserved rest is compelling. Whether you have the option to enjoy uninterrupted time with family and friends or find yourself working in essential roles, prioritising your well-being during the festive season is a choice that pays dividends in the long run. So, as the holiday season approaches, consider giving yourself the gift of a true break – a time to unwind, reflect, and embrace the joy of the season.

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