With Christmas coming up, many small business owners are enjoying one of the busiest times of the year. However, most of the work only exists in the run-up to Christmas Eve; in between the big day and New Year’s, a lot of the country comes to a standstill, at least comparatively. As such, it provides an opportunity to step away from the office and take a break for a few days. But what’s the best way to do it? We take a look below.
You can’t just wake up and decide that you’re not going to head into the office that day. If you plan on taking some time between Christmas and January 1 for yourself, get it into the calendar as soon as possible (today?). That way, you’ll be giving your clients, customers, and staff enough notice that you’ll be out of reach unless there’s an emergency. If you’re not sure what days to take off, take a look at when other companies and clients will be closed.
Just because you’re off, that doesn’t automatically mean that your staff will want the time off, too. Some people don’t really enjoy the festive period and would prefer to stay focused on their work. Before you close the entire office, speak to the staff about what they would like to do. If everything can run smoothly even when you’re not there, and there are enough people who want to work, then you might be able to stay open – albeit at a reduced capacity. On the other hand, keep in mind that it wouldn’t be fair to give yourself time off and demand that your workers carried on with work in your absence.
If the office is staying open, then you shouldn’t punish yourself by vowing to take a complete break from your business life if you’ll only worry about it. The trick is to find the right balance between just “checking in” and effectively working from home. It’ll be a good idea to pick a couple of times during the day when you’ll call in – say, once in the morning and once at the end of the day. You’ll be kept fully up to speed with all that’s going on, without losing any of the relaxation of spending time at home.
Having said that, it’s important that you set some boundaries if you decide to give yourself time off from work. You’ll lose most of the benefits of being away from the office if you’re getting phone calls every hour. As such, it’s important that everyone who may contact you knows that you’re only to be contacted if there’s a real issue that only you can resolve. It won’t be easy to say ‘no’ when you’re usually the one who’s in complete control, but if it’s something that can wait until you’re back in the office, then just wait.
It might have been some time since you had this much time away from work. As such, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the things you’ve achieved and where you might take the company in the future. It’s only when you’re out of the bubble of work that you’re able to get the perspective needed to think clearly, and it’s especially easy when it’s Christmas and days and dates all blend into one. Use the time wisely; you might just come up with your next great idea!
Have a Relaxing Time
Of course, you won’t go back to the office refreshed and ready to move forward if you’ve spent the whole time thinking about work! Make sure you’re doing things that will allow you to relax and have fun. Download games like the Final Fantasy strategy game, and spend long hours immersed in another world. Listen to music, and go for long walks in the chilly outdoors. It’s all about giving yourself some TLC and getting out of your head by doing something that’s a bit different from the everyday.
If You’re Called In
While you’ll hope that it’s not the case, there’s always a chance that you’ll be called into the office to take care of an issue that only you have the knowledge to resolve. If it’s nothing too serious, then take a bit of the Christmas cheer in with you. The rules are more malleable during the festive period. Wear a silly Christmas jumper, take in snacks, and work with your employees in a more informal setting. Make the most of it: you don’t get many opportunities to work this way!