In hard times a break is more vital than ever
Enjoy yourself this Christmas — you’ve definitely earned it
Source: Angela Salt
Maybe it’s an age thing, but every year Christmas just “sneaks up” on me. One minute it’s July and you are ticking the obligatory “office party” menu (how do I know if I will fancy the Christmas pudding or chocolate brownie half a year away?). The next minute a waiter is reminding me of what I actually ordered all that time ago (should have stuck to the cheese platter).
But what does the Christmas period actually mean for practices and businesses, and how can you use this time to revive the creative spirit? The office party is an important marker for everyone to celebrate success or simple survival. The year is almost over, and you got to the end together as a team. Enjoy it. (Apparently survival is the new success).
Pushing the party to January disrupts the natural business order. Clients will forgive the whole office being closed and incoherent in December. The same situation in January will irritate them. Remember that January is the time when “detox” is the rage, and most of the client world is deprived of alcohol and carbs. That energy and angst needs to be channelled somewhere — make sure it’s not in your direction.
Close the office or keep it going with a skeleton staff? Only you will know the pressure of your deadlines and projects, but where possible I would really urge you and your teams to take a break.
The reason is simple. The Christmas break is now the only time of year when you can actually mentally stop. Mobile devices and international time zones mean that we are now all shackled to instant communication and that is not healthy.
Everyone, regardless of their level, needs time to pause, think and rest the brain. Architecture is a creative endeavour and the demands of modern business mean that less and less time is devoted to just thinking.
Use this one time of the year when clients will accept that you are unavailable to turn off the phone and relax. We will all benefit from better buildings if you have a chance to rest and recharge. Have a wonderful break and see you in 2013.
Leanne Tritton is managing director of ING Media