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How to switch off at Christmas

Friends at Christmas

It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is just days away. As the holiday break begins it’s a good time to ask, when and do we turn off, stop working and focus on friends and family?

With hybrid and remote working models becoming the norm, the boundaries between work and home life have become incredibly blurred. A survey, carried out by HRLocker of 1,000 full-time employees, found that 52% of respondents were experiencing burnout and 27% said that the cause was the pressure to be ‘always on’. These blurred lines mean, now more than ever it’s crucial to disconnect from work and really enjoy the end-of-year holidays.

The festive season comes with well-deserved bank holidays and usually a few days of paid time off. Which allows everyone to relax and step away from their working life. To find the best ways to relax and get into the festive mood, we spoke to Cpl’s Christmas fanatics across the company to see how they switch off and make the most of the holiday season.

Katherine Roodt, Recruitment Consultant, Cpl Cork.

"Before I go on holiday, I make sure to cover the basics, create my handover, find a point of contact for any urgent queries, put on my out of office, and most importantly, mute the work apps on my phone.

I like to think of it as ‘switching ON’ the holidays and focusing on what is important to me. Which at Christmas, is family, creating magical moments and having as much fun as possible.

I don’t think I completely switch OFF. My brain always seems to be popping ideas into my head, which I write down on my kitchen pad. It’s where my family spends most of our time over the holidays…near the food. I know all these great ideas are now safely out of my head and awaiting my return to the office. This way I’m productive in my own time and I feel like I have used my holiday time wisely. I can go back to work knowing I have refueled my soul and prepared for the busy year ahead until my next break of course!"

Aoife Norton, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Cpl Dublin

“During my Christmas break, I normally finish just before Christmas Eve and return in the New Year. I leave Dublin and travel down to my parent’s house. Christmas is a big deal in my family, we plan the whole meal at least 2 months in advance! We all love baking and cooking; it brings us all together. In my free time, I like to get out for runs in the fresh country air, which help blow away the cobwebs!”

Darrach Teague, Head of Cpl Northern Ireland

“I find it very difficult to switch off when I am away from work. But Christmas is the one time of year when I make a point of doing so. Planning before I leave is essential, I make sure emails are forwarded and anything urgent will get picked up by another member of the team. Then I turn on the, ‘out of office’ and turn off the laptop and mobile phone. Most of Christmas break will be spent with the family, happily doing very little other than being together.”

Stephen Mullin, Cpl Client Services Director

“At this time of the year, I like to finish work on Christmas Eve and take a full break until the New Year. I enjoy getting out on my bike with friends, I find this a great way of relaxing, socialising, and turning off from work. The Christmas break is also the perfect chance to get out with the family or your own, for long walks on those beautiful crisp days. As a family, we love to climb the Sugar Loaf, walk the pier at Dun Laoghaire, and make our annual pilgrimage to the Poolbeg Lighthouse! This helps stretch the legs and work off some of the food that we overindulge in this time of year. Getting out and about is also a fantastic way to help with our mental health and stay connected as a family.”

Niamh O’Connor, Senior HR Manager, Cpl Dublin

“Since the start of the pandemic, switching off and disconnecting from work has never been as important. I find it worthwhile to jot down any loose ends that need tending to before finishing up and planning them into my diary for January. That way, I am not worrying about work over the break. Self-care and knowing what brings you joy over the holidays is important. I find when I plan time for the hobbies and activities I enjoy, I feel refreshed and appreciate the Christmas break even more.”

Christmas is a time to spend with people we care about and celebrate the positives we’ve experienced throughout the year. It’s a great time to disconnect from work and relax with family, but it’s also a time to reflect. Taking time to decompress and assess how you envision the year ahead is important. If you're leaning towards a career change, or you’re simply curious about the booming job market, get in touch. One of our specialist consultants will be delighted to help you find a new job and hopefully, a happier 2022.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Cpl.