Planning for the New Year in the workplace

The festive season can be one of the busiest periods in the workplace. As the end of the year draws nearer, employees will be working hard to meet outstanding deadlines, preparing for annual leave and most importantly, celebrating the successes of the past 12 months.

At such a busy time, it’s vital to encourage employees to remain focused and ensure they are fully prepared for some time away from the office, as well as what awaits them in January. With so much happening, what tasks should employees make a priority?

Focus on maintaining productivity

Although the end of the year is a great time for tying up loose ends and finishing any outstanding projects, when colleagues begin departing for annual leave this can become more difficult. So how can employees stay productive in the lead up to the New Year?

It’s a good idea to consider reviewing important processes. Maintaining the security of data is one key concern around the festive period. Research by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the number of data breaches caused by internal errors increased around the end of the year. This was attributed to an increase in the number of employees losing unsecured devices while out of the office.

It is also a good opportunity to shred sensitive documents, organise filing systems and back up important data. Keeping the workplace secure over the festive break should be a priority for all employees. Of course, this also means that staff will return to a clean and tidy office in the New Year!

New Year productivity

Thinking about the year ahead may seem daunting but January is the perfect time for planning and everyone needs an all-important New Year’s resolution! Research shows that only 1 in 10 people manage to achieve their New Year’s resolution, so how can employees make them attainable? Instead of devising vague goals, experts recommend using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based) criteria to set objectives. Clearly defining milestones in the next 3, 6 and 12 months is essential for employees to work effectively.

Office equipment plays a big role in the overall productivity of staff in the workplace. If it’s apparent that there’s a lack of focus on data security (stacks of shredding left in the corner) then it may be time to invest in new technologies to address the issue.

Looking back  

Let’s not forget that when preparing for the end of one year and the beginning of another, it’s useful to take the opportunity to pause and reflect. There may be a lot to learn from experiences over the past 12 months that can be shared with the whole team for a great start to 2016.

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