Press release:

Half of Brits will be heading into the office during the festive season – but spend their time watching films and online shopping

  • UK is a nation of Christmas workers as it’s revealed that 44% will heading to the office between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, with 12% at work for the whole period[1]
  • Only one in ten (9%) office workers have booked the full festive period off and only a fifth (21%) of offices shut their doors for the holidays[2]
  • One in five (20%) enjoy working between Christmas and New Year[3], citing reasons such as a more relaxed office (33%), a quiet commute (28%) and camaraderie with others who are also at work (20%)[4]
  • But for those in the office over Christmas, over a quarter of workers (29%) take time to relax, admitting that they watch Christmas films and catch up on TV series/box sets[5]
  • A further quarter (25%) spend their time looking at the Boxing Day sales and online shopping, over a third (36%) catch up on admin they don’t usually have time to do and one in five (20%) use this time to review their personal finances such as household bill providers[6]
  • suggests using the time to review personal finances and save up to £1,000 on household bills.

Nearly half of Brits (44%) will have to spend time in the office over the festive period, with one in 10 (12%) having to go into the office every working day between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, according to new research by[1].

Only one in ten (9%) are taking the whole time off and one in five (21%) say that their workplace will be closed during this time[2], but of those who are in the office, one in five (20%) say that they do enjoy this time in the office more than the rest of the year[3].

A third (33%) prefer being in a more relaxed office environment, 28% like the quieter commute, and a fifth (20%) enjoy camaraderie with their colleagues on the festive shift. Relatively few (17%) say they dislike having to be at work and would prefer to be at home[4].

This positive mood among the Christmas workforce is perhaps down to how people will be spending their time on duty. Three in ten (29%) will be catching up on films, TV and box sets, and a quarter (25%) say they will be online shopping as they look for a deal in the Boxing Day sales[5].

Plenty will have their eyes the year ahead, with 16% looking to book their holidays for 2019, whereas 18% will be making the final touches to their New Year’s Eve plans[7].

However, the most popular activity, is taking the opportunity to catch up on admin tasks that most people don’t have the time to do during normal working days, which will be done by 36% of seasonal staff[6].

One in five (20%) are set to use this time to review their personal finances and see how much money they can save on their household bills by switching providers[6].

Dani Warner, broadband expert at, says: “The days at work over the Christmas period can be some of the most peaceful in any office, and perhaps even provide some welcome respite from feeding and entertaining your family at home.

“For those who do have a reduced workload, it is a great opportunity to get started on those New Year resolutions and think about what you can do to save money in January.

“The simple step of switching your providers on a few bills can add up to save a household £1,000. And there should still be plenty of time to catch up those box sets.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

All research referred to was conducted by Opinium between 10-12 December 2018, with 2,021 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+).

  1. When asked ‘Do you have to work over the following dates?’ about 24th, 27th, 28th and 31st December, 44% of respondents said they have to go into the office on one or more of those days. 12% said they have to go into the office on all four dates
  2. When asked ‘Do you have to work over the following dates?’ about 24th, 27th, 28th and 31st December, 9% of respondents said ‘No, I have booked the time off’ and 20% said that ‘No – the office is closed’
  3. When asked ‘How do you feel about working during the period between Christmas and New Year?’ 20% of respondents said they enjoy it
  4. When asked ‘What, if anything, do you enjoy about working over Christmas?’, 33% of respondents said a quitter office, 28% said the quiet commute, and 20% said the camaraderie with the other who are working at this time’. 17% said they don’t enjoy working over Christmas.
  5. When asked ‘Will you do any of the following whilst working from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve?’, 29%of respondents said watch Christmas films/catch up on TV series / box sets
  6. When asked ‘Will you do any of the following whilst working from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve?’ 25% of respondents said take advantage of the Boxing Day sales and do online shopping, 20% said catch up on admin tasks, and 20% said review their personal finances.
  7. When asked ‘Will you do any of the following whilst working from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve?’ 16% of respondents said look up and book holidays for the next year, and 18% said make New Year plans.

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