Six things to do in the office between Christmas and New Year

Struggling to find ways to fill your working days between Christmas and New Year? Here are six jobs to tick off your list

By Ernest Richardson

Ah, the dreaded in-between time. Christmas is finished and you’re slowly digesting your mammoth servings of turkey and trifle before gearing up for the rigours of seeing in the New Year.

But, thanks to workplace politics and the vagaries of annual leave arrangements, you find yourself in the office for three whole days. And let’s be honest, with so many businesses shut down or running a skeleton staff, there’s not an awful lot to do.

    ...let’s be honest, with so many businesses shut down or running a skeleton staff, there’s not an awful lot to do.  

Don’t waste these valuable days. Use them wisely and you can get ahead of the New Year before it’s even begun. That way, when your colleagues return to work on 2 January, you’ll be sitting pretty with an empty in-tray and a stress-free start to the year.

To help you make the most of your in-between days, here are six things to get done.

1. Tidy your inbox

Show me a person with a clean email inbox and I’ll show you, well, no one. Because, let’s be honest, all of us hang on to emails that needed deleting ages ago.

And some of us even have emails that need a response, but which we just haven’t got round to sorting.

Use these days when it’s a bit quieter to tidy your inbox. Be ruthless: delete anything you know you don’t really need any more. Respond to anything that needs dealing with. Then enjoy the feeling of a clean, crisp and lightweight inbox. It’ll soon fill up again.

2. Deal with the jobs you’ve been putting off

You know that report you promised your boss sometime in November? Or the staff survey that you’ve been putting off completing?

Now’s the time to get these jobs ticked off your list. They may not be the most exciting way to spend your post-Christmas working days, but they will stop you getting bored. And think how much brighter you’ll feel with a completely clear to-do list.

3. Sort your filing

What’s the one job that everyone hates? It’s got to be filing, right?

In many businesses, Friday afternoon was traditionally the time to catch up on filing. But modern working practices don’t seem to follow the same ebb and flow. Friday’s either don’t tail off, or tail off to such an extent that everyone goes home because they work flexi-time.

Chances are, then, that you have a stack of paperwork to sort, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it. You’ll probably find most of it can be filed in the bin. But wherever it ends up, imagine how much happier you’ll feel when you can see your desk again.

    Give yourself some thinking space during the post-Christmas lull.  

4. Do an expenses claim

It’s crazy when you think about it: your employer owes you money for costs you’ve borne on their behalf. But you need to file an expenses claim to access it. And that’s a job that can easily be put to the bottom of your priority list when more time-sensitive demands start pressing.

So (you know where I’m going with this): get it done during the in-between time. Not only will it be a weight off your mind. It’ll also be a bit of additional bunce to see you through the New Year.

5. Take time to think

Modern life can be rubbish – or exceedingly stressful, at least. In the daily rub of office life, there is precious little time to let your creative or intellectual juices flow.

But we all know that this is when the good stuff happens. It’s why 3M lets employees spend 15 per cent of their time engaged in non-business-critical projects. It was in this 15 per cent that innovations like reflective number plates and Post-It notes were invented, which just goes to show what happens when your mind roams free.

Give yourself some thinking space during the post-Christmas lull. Take time to surf the net, following flights of fancy and diving into rabbit holes. Read that article you’ve had bookmarked for ages. Hang out on the Just Recruitment website and engage with the dizzying variety of content there.

However you do it, use this precious time when it’s quiet just to… think. Everyone benefits when you take a breath or two.

    Without going overboard, use your quiet time to fire off a few words of thanks to deserving recipients.  

6. Send some thank you notes

After Christmas is the season for thank-you notes. But the ones you should be sending from the office aren’t to Great Aunt Agatha expressing gratitude for your new train set.

These ones are for colleagues: those who have gone the extra mile over the past 12 months. The people who have made your life easier, either by being ultra-efficient or extra helpful, or perhaps just because they’re great to be around.

A little bit of gratitude and encouragement can be a great motivator. It makes people feel valued, noticed, admired.

Without going overboard, use your quiet time to fire off a few words of thanks to deserving recipients. It’s sure to bring them cheer… especially if, like you, they’re stuck in the office while the rest of the world gorges Quality Street and watches reruns of old Bond movies.

© Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 27 December 2019

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Workplace dilemmas: I just can’t help falling in love

You may also enjoy: How to communicate with your employees

Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site

Requirements:

  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
New job
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more
Accounts Assistant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £9.50 - £10.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910867
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Sudbury.

They are looking to add an Accounts Assistant with payroll experience to their team.

Key duties include:

  • Responsible for weekly and monthly payroll’s on Sage and all related duties (holiday forms etc.)
  • Knowledge of Xero accounts
  • Purchase Ledger
  • Sales Ledger
  • Chasing payments
  • Exporting mail-order invoices and credit notes from Magento to Xero
  • Assist Bookkeeper with any accounts duties
  • Assist Bookkeeper with HR Duties as needed
  • Reconciling Braintree payments to Mail Order invoices
  • Assist with stocktaking and valuation

Knowledge of Xero and Microsoft Office would be advantageous, although Sage experience would be considered. Attention to detail, good time management skills, accuracy, approachable and reliability is a must.

Free parking is available on site, offering a competitive hourly rate and an excellent working environment.

Read more