Holiday work: Research has shown that staying open over Christmas does not achieve very much in terms of productivity.

Workplace staff

Half the number of SA workers will work during the Christmas break, yet two-thirds believe very little will be achieved.

Monitoring work trends, Regus, a provider of flexible workplaces, asked more than 12 000 business people in 85 countries about their intention to work during the end of year holidays.

The survey reveals that although 30 percent of SA business people will go to the office during the festive season, their levels of productivity are expected to be low, providing little value to their employers and wasting employees’ precious home and family time commuting.

Key findings include:

l 50 percent of SA business people will work during the festive period.

l Almost a third of SA respondents working over the break (30 percent) will travel to the office to work.

l 61 percent of SA respondents believe that workers will get very little done in this work time


l More than half of South African business people (52 percent) think that staff working over the holidays mostly tend to use the time to catch up on unfinished tasks.

Regus spokeswoman Tina Mason, the area sales director for sub-Saharan Africa, believes the holiday season is a special time for people to devote to their families and friends without neglecting their work duties.

“However, our research suggests many people are not taking full advantage of the break and, if they are also travelling to the office to work, are unnecessarily squandering precious time with their loved ones,” she says.

“As the developed world faces economic difficulties and rapidly developing countries deal with the challenge of sustainable growth, businesses are under pressure to keep a full head of steam.

“So it’s not surprising that workers use this time to catch up on unfinished work.

“But are workers choosing to power through the break really producing the best value for their efforts?

“With the holiday season approaching, businesses are more focused on how to achieve or improve the work/life balance they offer so that workers can spend time with their loved ones.

“Workers making the effort to travel to work with limited transport options could benefit from using a work location closer to home, reducing time wasted in commuting and maximising the time they can spend with their families.”