HR specialist HR2day has found that 60% of offices in the North East will be closing their businesses over the Christmas period, similar to ‘factory fortnight’ in the summer.

In addition to the bank holidays, the majority of offices will be closing for almost a fortnight, giving workers ample time to celebrate the festive season.

Traditionally, ‘factory fortnight’ takes place in the last week of July and the first week in August to allow manufacturing businesses to carry out essential maintenance on machinery.

For offices, however, the shutdown will save firms money, not opening will reduce electricity and heating costs during a time when there will be fewer people to do business with.

In addition to this, employees will have the opportunity to take a longer time to rest, which encourages a better starting point for the New Year in terms of wellbeing and mental health.

Nicky Jolley, managing director of HR2day, said: “Due to the days that the bank holidays fall this Christmas, we have seen a lot more businesses than usual closing for up to two weeks over the festive season, and asking employees to take mandated holidays to allow the office to shut.

“This can be beneficial for staff wanting to enjoy the season of goodwill with their families without worrying about work, and employers will save money, as running costs for a building are the same whether you have one person in the office or 100.

“This may become a trend for the future, bringing back the 1960s fashion of factory fortnight, but over Christmas, to give workers a chance to recharge their batteries ready for the New Year.

“Some employers can be a little ‘bah humbug!’ about shutting down over Christmas, however, we’ve seen an incredibly positive impact on employees who have had a stressful year and can really take some time to switch off completely from work. This has led to greater employee engagement and retention of valuable members of staff, which can be worth its weight in gold!