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How businesses can save themselves & employees money at Christmas

We know that Christmas can be a time of excess, where expenses tend to go much higher than any other month of the year.

Of course, you don’t want to be seen as a Grinch by your staff or team members but you don’t want to throw money around and have it come back to bite you. What you need is to plan and be methodical with your finances around the festive period. It also helps to be mindful of your employees and their finances at this time of year.

eCo2 Greetings is here to help with some handy tips you can implement at your business as Christmas gets closer. We’ll cover everything from your Christmas party to eco-friendly measures that will save you money.

Read on to find out more about how businesses can save themselves and their staff money at Christmas…

Work from Home & Telecommuting

If there’s one thing we’ve seen in 2020 for many businesses, it’s that working from home needn’t cause disruption to daily life.

Working from home (WFH) and telecommuting doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your business plan, but assuming you have an office, having most of December allocated as WFH is beneficial for both. Even more so if you establish holiday working hours – shorter days to reflect not only the time of year but your industry.

You can connect with staff and clients remotely, meaning you aren’t spending excess money on things such as electricity and heating. Likewise, you and your staff aren’t spending on travel costs to commute to work. You could save your company some expenditure this way if you pay part or all of your staff’s travel expenses – such as tunnel passes or rail fares.

Learn more about our Christmas eCards for the upcoming season

Research has shown that working from home is extremely beneficial. Your staff will be more productive and happier – partly owing to less time spent travelling to the office. Their work-life balance will improve, and at what better time to do that than Christmas, when mental health issues can increase?

Of course, telecommuting or working from home isn’t possible for all businesses, but when it is, it can be a huge money-saver. Keeping things virtual allows small businesses to avoid the expense of ongoing operating costs that come with it, and focus on producing work at minimum overhead.

Eco-Friendly Measures

Going eco-friendly is a good move from a PR standpoint and a financial one, particularly in winter when you want to save costs.

If your company shuts down, reduces staff numbers over Christmas or works from home, then there are plenty of measures you can take to reduce your overheads. The most obvious of which is to turn-off lighting and shut-down any unnecessary equipment. Even reducing the thermostat down by just 1ºC can reduce energy consumption by up to 8%.

Learn more about eCo2 Greetings’ environmental mission

Implement temperature controls that will ensure your heating is timed correctly and in line with outside air temperatures. This can minimise overheating, which is extremely wasteful and may cause cooler air to start up, and no one wants that in winter. You can also train staff to avoid swings in temperature which can send heating costs skywards.

Changing the lighting across your business to more energy-efficient LED options can make a big difference with long-lasting effects. Wherever you can, ensure that natural light is used as it saves energy and has been found to have health benefits – even reducing stress compared to artificial light. The same goes for Christmas lights – go for efficient LED lighting.

Christmas Party

A Christmas Party for you and your staff is a tradition, something you have to put on to show you care about and value your employees.

The benefit of a Christmas Party is that it can be anything – it doesn’t have to be excessive and force you or your staff to fork out a lot of money; nor should you expect them to. Setting a budget is a balancing act of quality and value, while at the same time, making the right impression to your staff. How much you spend will depend on your particular business.

Read more about our incredible eCards – Premium and for Christmas

Set a budget of so much money per head, an example would be at a shared party with lots of other businesses. Doing so could be defined by the type of business you are and what feedback you get from your staff – would they prefer something more relaxed over a formal event? An important factor here is venue; make it easy to get to without high travel costs.

Finally, you need to decide where you want to go and what type of party you want early on, as venues are going to increase their prices closer to the festive season. If you leave late, you’re likely to pay even more. You could try bringing it forward to early in the season or even off-peak days when prices are lower – Sundays and mid-week.

Christmas Presents & Secret Santa

If you have staff, you might want to give them a Christmas gift to thank them for all of their hard work throughout the year and get into the festive spirit.

The novel and now much-accepted way is a ‘Secret Santa’ that you can get your entire staff involved in. It can be a fun process that helps break down a time in the year that can get quite busy for many businesses and employees. If you’re actively pushing it, or even if it’s a company tradition, it shows you value your staff and care about camaraderie.

There are important points to remember about Secret Santa and gifting in the office, however. You have new staff, it will help them get to know their colleagues by asking around for ideas. Another is that it encourages a positive culture in your office. It may start off as a hassle to some, but in the end, staff are talking about what they’ve got from each other.

Discover our Christmas games, perfect for breaking the working week in December

Do bear in mind that these can be stressful for some, especially if money is tight – so implement a limit on how much can be spent. It doesn’t, or even shouldn’t, be a huge amount for employees to spend. And finally, if someone is concerned about what to get a colleague, maybe because they’re new, have a chat to help them, you’ll be thankful in the long run.

If you follow these steps, you and your employees can have a fantastic festive period without your business suffering financially as a result. Keep things simple and research before pressing ahead with any plans.

Learn more about festive eCards with eCo2 Greetings and how to reduce your environmental impact.

Learn more about what you can do to protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint with our eCo2 Greetings blog.

Contact us today to discover how we can help your business.

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