Working through Christmas

Christmas can bring some unusual experience to the workplace – from festive costume days to festive tunes on repeat.

It also means the public are out in force at the nation's pubs, restaurants and cafes. Be it for a quick cup of coffee in between the festive shopping, a drink or special meal with the workmates, or something else. People in public facing hospitality jobs are likely to be seeing more faces than usual.

Here are five top tips for making the best of what can be a thrilling – and tiring – season to work through.

Wish them a Merry Christmas

Don't start too early – after all, not all customers want to be reminded of the festive period in mid-November. But from the week of Christmas onwards, it's polite to have some Christmas chat with customers where appropriate.

Of course, workers who genuinely have a passion Christmas might well find this easier. But if you don't count yourself among this number, it's good to try and get into the spirit!

Embrace the season

On that note, if there's a festive dressing up day, or other Christmas themed fun at your workplace, you may well be compelled to take part. You might not be the biggest fan of Santa hats, but try to get involved gracefully. If you're in a public-facing role, the customers will enjoy this sort of thing, and even if you feel a bit embarrassed, you'll be helping to make their experience a bit more special!

Give yourself a moment

Some of us thrive on having to serve higher numbers of people than usual. Others might find it a stress. Things can get hectic, but ensure that you give yourself time to catch your breath backstage or during your break. Stay calm, because if you get flustered by a rush, things are less likely to go smoothly.  

Make the most of the festive party

Don't forgo the festive party, even if you normally don't hang out with your colleagues outside of 'the office'. You'd be surprised how much people can change when they're not at work, and the party gives you a chance to get a bit closer to colleagues, which might improve your working life overall. It's also likely to involve free food and drink, which is nice!

Navigate the Christmas workload

Working Christmas Eve, Boxing Day or perhaps even Christmas Day itself? We're not going to lie, this can make your heart sink, although employers should keep things fair and rotate who has to work on these days each year.

If you feel like your workload will mean you miss out, why not arrange for your family to move some of the Christmas fun to accommodate you? For example, if you would usually tuck into turkey on Christmas Day, but you're working, why not do the festive meal on Boxing Day instead?

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.