Are Christmas decorations in the workplace a good idea?

Are Christmas decorations in the workplace a good idea?

Today Allstaff Recruitment consider whether Christmas decorations in the work place are a good idea, and whether they actually improve overall productivity and morale.

There is no denying that Christmas is a big deal and not just for children! It is the second most celebrated holiday around the world, with the first being New Year. Traditionally a Christian celebration to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas has now become a widely accepted celebration by many other religions as a civil holiday and is celebrated throughout December. The focus, however, for some, has moved away from the religious importance and has become more of a commercialised celebration of being thankful, having compassion, spending time with loved ones, and celebrating strong bonds of love.

Decorations have become a big part of typical Christmas traditions, no longer limited to just a Christmas tree. Many go all out to cover their houses in lights and projections, filling each room with ornaments and brightly coloured tinsel. Filled with warmth and festivity many employees wish to extend this tradition into the workplace, decorating the office and their desk with lots of brightly coloured decorations, but as a manager should this be encouraged? Or does it just cause too much distraction?

Arguments for:

  • First and foremost decorations can provide an instant mood uplift, there is something about Christmas decorations that lifts our spirits and with a scientific link between mood and productivity this can have a positive impact on the business, especially in customer focused roles.
  • A fun work environment can positively enhance team morale and help to unite the workforce by enabling them to work together towards a single goal.
  • Allowing employees to put up Christmas decorations can be seen as a reward, this would help put employees in a better mood by making them feel valued and appreciated, which in turn will make them want to achieve.
  • For many businesses, particularly, those open to the public, Christmas decorations have been proven to encourage a sense of trust in your brand. Imagine, you are walking down the high street surrounded by other frantic shoppers, trying to find that perfect gift when you are confronted by two stores, selling the same gift at the same price. The store on the left is decorated with tinsel, garlands and a Christmas tree flooding you with Christmas scents and music, yet to the right, the store has decided not to decorate, opting to keep things as they are. Which would you find yourself gravitating towards? Most would choose the more inviting, highly decorated store.
  • Allowing Christmas decorations can also be great for marketing. The right decorations can provide a great opportunity for advertising and can lead to opportunities that get your business noticed.

Arguments Against:

  • Christmas decorations cost money, and you need to have somewhere to store them. In addition, any light up decorations need to be included in bi-annual PAT Testing.
  • Attention is taken away from work to set up and display Christmas decorations, and with everyone wanting to get involved in festivities this can mean that no-one is concentrating on the business or their workload.
  • Christmas decorations can also cause employees to lose focus, sparking any conversations about the festive season, and can even lead to using their computers to spend time looking for those all-important secret santa gift swaps. This more relaxed, joyous atmosphere can often lead to a reduction in productivity.
  • Decorating can take time to plan and establish what type of decorations should be allowed and what visual displays can get the right response, this can detract attention and focus from the business model.
  • Decorations can get in the way, and can sometimes become somewhat of a hazard. For example, trailing wires and additional extension cables can become both an electrical and trip hazard. Alternatively, decorations across a desk can fall onto and damage computer equipment.

In summary, whist there are compelling arguments against why Christmas decorations in the workplace are not a good idea, customer and employee satisfaction have a much more positive impact if you embrace the festivities, and quash that inner Scrooge.

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