Are those sleigh bells I hear No it's a phone call from work: Half of us expect Christmas to be interruptedOver a quarter fear having to work over the holiday and a fifth think they will be 'plagued' by work concernsA third say they have been bothered more than once over the festive season


01:29 GMT, 17 December 2012



01:29 GMT, 17 December 2012

It is meant to be a time dedicated to family and friends when we can leave our troubles behind.

But half of us (50 per cent) expect Christmas to be interrupted by work and three-quarters (73 per cent) worry about their job in the run up to the festive season, a survey has found.

More than a quarter of people (27 per cent) fear they will miss out by having to work over the holiday while more than one-in-five (23 per cent) worry their Christmas will be plagued by work concerns.

Family Christmas: But half of us expect our festive serenity to be shattered by a phone call from work

Family Christmas: But half of us expect our festive serenity to be shattered by a phone call from work

A poll of 1,000 workers discovered while 58 per cent had not asked for extra hours over the festive period more than half (50.8 per cent) have had their Christmas interrupted by work, and of those more than a third (37 per cent) have been bothered more than once.

People working in the IT and telecoms sectors are the most likely to be troubled during the winter break, making up 40 per cent of those bothered by their boss.

Financiers are the most distracted by work over Christmas, while accountants are the most worried that they will not finish their work in time for the holidays, the study found.


Geographically workers in the north of England the most fearful of having to work during the festive period, with people in Manchester worrying the most (40 per cent), followed by Newcastle (34 per cent) and Liverpool (31 per cent).

In the Midlands workers in Birmingham are the most concerned (30 per cent).

More than four out of ten respondents said they felt pressured into taking on more hours during the holiday season to pay for the festivities.

Workers in Newcastle were the most concerned (34 per cent) about covering the cost of Christmas, followed by Manchester (32 per cent).

However it is respondents in the south of England who are most likely to be plagued by thoughts of work this Christmas, with the highest number of worriers in Plymouth (29 per cent), London (27 per cent) and Southampton (27 per cent).

‘The results of the study are very troubling, showing that many people not only feel pressured to take on extra work to pay for Christmas, but also feel an inability to relax and switch-off over the holiday period,’ said Sue Weir, CEO of healthcare firm Medicash, which commissioned the survey.