While the vast majority of UK estate agents don’t expect to see an increase in working hours in the run-up to Christmas, they could be in danger of burning due to short Christmas breaks and the inability to fully switch off from work.
That’s according to an industry survey commissioned by Nested, the modern estate agent, who found that nearly half will also be hard at work between Christmas and New Year, despite the two substitute holidays.
We’re fast approaching the final curtain on what has been one of the busiest periods for the UK property market in living memory. Pent up demand fuelled by long periods of Brexit inspired political uncertainty, lockdown restrictions and the additional fuel of the stamp duty holiday, have all combined in one tidal wave of market activity.
On the frontline has been the nation’s estate agents, who have worked tirelessly to service the market and many haven’t paused for breath in doing so.
So with the festive season fast approaching, they could be forgiven for looking forward to a well earned rest. However, the research by Nested suggests this may not be the case.
The good news is, just 13% of agents expect to work longer hours in the lead up to Christmas and so while many may feel overstretched, they shouldn’t see this increase in terms of time spent in the office.
However, a third of agents (29%) did state that their Christmas break is going to be shorter than they would have liked, preferring more time at home with friends and family.
Almost half (45%) also said that they would be working the week between Christmas and New Year, including the two substitute bank holidays given as Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on a weekend.
But while working over the festive period certainly doesn’t help, it isn’t just the physical act of working that will see estate agents unable to spend some quality time off.
34% stated that they would be unable to fully switch off from work over Christmas, with work related matters likely to weigh on their minds even when they’re not officially working.
Head of Commercial at Nested, Alice Bullard, commented: “It’s fair to say many agents may not have experienced a market quite like this and we’ve all been working in overdrive in what has been a difficult landscape with additional challenges, particularly at the back end legal stages of transactions.
While the home selling process is a long one, many agents will be consistently juggling sales to ensure they complete or progress, so it can be hard to fully relax when there will be sales in the pipeline throughout December.
We can all appreciate it’s hard to switch off and it doesn’t matter whether you work for yourself or for a corporate, we all strive to deliver the best service we can at all times. But this mentality and hard work could see some of us in serious danger of burning out, so it’s never been more important to pause for breath over the Christmas period, take stock of the year and spend some downtime with our friends and family.”