As we plunge deeper into the festive period, offices begin to relax a little and look forward to a well deserved rest across Christmas.

Party planning begins and with office treats a plenty, it can be difficult to make time to get some work done.

It also becomes the time of year when those working in HR see an influx of late holiday requests and people arriving late to work, which can be difficult to keep control over. At BrightHR we like to celebrate this time of year, so we’ve taken a look at how HR people can manage a hectic period without too much pressure. 

Christmas parties…

The annual office party is a time to celebrate with the team before the break up at Christmas. However it can often spell trouble for some employees, leaving HR to clean up any difficulties post party. 

Empower your team to have fun at the annual Christmas bash and try not worry too much about the next day’s hangover. Christmas parties are good for team bonding, however fun in the workplace shouldn’t be confined to the festive season. 


December becomes a prime time for workers to fit in remaining annual leave time before the year ends. This can result in HR being snowed under with holiday forms, or late requests for a half day Christmas shopping.

Trying to juggle all requests in line with when other employees are absent can be a struggle as well as planning when you will close the office for Christmas. The festive period includes three bank holidays often leaving some employees disgruntled if they are requested to work before or after these. HR is often required to make sure everyone gets their fair share of time off as most businesses aren’t able to close fully from Christmas eve till January 2nd. 

Offices are often recommended to close early on Christmas eve to let employees leave for their families, this way they are likely to be more productive in the morning.


Extreme winter weather is inevitable this time of year, with weather warnings, floods and flurries of snow disrupting a days work. If weather is particularly bad, travel can be tricky to and from work leaving HR with a great responsibility to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound. 

Flexible working options gives employees piece of mind to know when weather takes a turn, they can safely work from home. Trusting staff to work remotely from home releases the pressure from HR having to figure out who can make it into the office or not. A bad weather policy is essential to have in place during the winter season. 

Workplace fun…

Encouraging fun in the workplace, during arguably the most exciting time of the year needn’t be a chore. In fact employees are more likely to keep their mind on the job if they know they have some festive fun to look forward to. 

Team activities such as Christmas jumper day, a trip to the Christmas markets or a festive baking competition will lift spirits without causing too much disruption. 

If HR plans ahead, December needn’t be a headache and managers can relax and enjoy the lead up to Christmas. Trusting employees is key, alongside making time for some festive fun. 

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