Author: Alexandra Sanpera, Head of Communications at Perkbox


Despite there being around 20 working days in the month of December and end of year deadlines looming, many companies will still experience skeletal staffing, distracted teams and a general workplace attitude of “meh, it’s December, we’re off soon”.


In fact, according to recent research of ours, one in three Brits describe themselves as unproductive in the month of December. It makes sense – it’s a month of stressful time-pressures, juggling work with social events whilst trying to stay focused.


However, companies and employees can, to a certain extent, pre-empt this slump in motivation by supporting and incentivising their teams with information on how to achieve the best work life balance they can in this slightly trickier season.


At Perkbox, we wanted to do our bit to help, so recently we launched our ‘5 Golden Things” campaign in collaboration with some of our favourite work/life balance ambassadors – from younger generations, to more experienced professionals. Each of us will be sharing our five golden tips for striking the balance at home and at work in the run up to the festivities.


I’ll be sharing my personal favourite ones with you today. Read on to find out more.


Tip No. 1: Make a list and check it twice


Let’s start with the basics – with so many distractions popping up in the run up to Christmas, be smart and keep track of your to do lists. This applies to both professional and personal chores – although of course, keep them seperate or it may become a huge mess!


By keeping all your tasks jotted down on a piece of paper you’ll experience similar effects to when you take notes at a lecture – it’s proven by numerous studies that it helps you filter external information out and distill your thoughts so that you can remember things better.


It’s that simple. In fact, I’d encourage you to do it all the time, no matter the season!


Tip No. 2: Look backwards when it comes to achievements


Think of who has done an outstanding job this year, or maybe you have? Pat yourself on the back at the very least if that’s the case, but also reward yourself and others who deserve it.


If you have a platform like Perkbox, you’re lucky – you can reward your members of staff for their hard work directly through the platform, as well as giving them all the recognitions they deserve.


But if not, think outside the box. Rewarding employees for their achievements doesn’t have to be expensive, the best are simply thoughtful. You’re likely to know your employees well enough by now if you spend every working day together – use your creativity to gift them something that will really wow them.


In my opinion we often view this exercise as a “nice to have” rather than a necessary “must”, but it truly isn’t. It’s extremely healthy both for our emotional wellbeing and our professional development. You never know – it may help you identify new strengths within yourself and others that could help bring the company forward in different ways in the new year.


But that’s the key – just remember it’s not just about rewarding, it’s about reflecting back on that achievement too!


Tip No. 3: Look forward when it comes to everything else


The fourth quarter of the year (Q4) is one of the biggest quarters for planning. On the execution side it gets quieter; as customers and prospects wind down for Christmas.


But make the most of that time to plan, don’t just sit around taking it easy! You’ll appreciate it when you return from the Christmas break and you feel that January Blues creeping in – that unpleasant feeling after the holiday season is over and the weather is still very cold.


In fact, I would go as far as encouraging you to plan for both your professional and personal projects for the start of the year. Think of all the tasks you’ll have to begin the year doing and organise them so that everything is ready to make a smooth start to the year.


Similarly, plan your next holiday for the new year so that once you’re back, the January Blues I mentioned earlier, doesn’t hit you so heavily. It’ll also likely make your holiday much cheaper if you do it so in advance. You might even afford the Bahamas next year!


Tip No. 4: Stick to a healthy routine


Your routine will likely be out the window just before Christmas but don’t blame yourself for it, it’s normal. Instead, try your best to keep some healthy habits, such as – not drinking excessively throughout the working week, trying 20 minutes yoga just as you get out of bed or, if you have the Perkbox app try the “Boxx Method”, which will help you identify short workouts that you can perform from the comfort of your home.


Tip No. 5: Make the most of your lunch break


Finally, make the most of your lunch hour. Don’t eat in front of your laptop, and if I were you, I’d recommend not to stay in the office either. Go outside and explore – even if it’s rainy, yes! – getting some fresh air will help you.


I find what works best for me is to have a goal in mind when I set off for that break. Be this grabbing some lunch from a nearby store where I can get my PerksGO discounts, or buying a last-minute present from the gift shop that’s ten minutes away.


Research has found that workers that consistently take a break experience better health, less stress and more creativity. You let your mind rest as you focus on other activities and break with the office routine. If you’re not doing it already, this season is perhaps the best one to start. Embrace it!


And, that’s it from me! Remember, to find out more about our campaign,see the tips posted by all our other influencers and follow us on social media using the #5GoldenThings hashtag. Let’s get festive and be productive!