To-do: Christmas shutdown procedure for businesses

With Christmas right around the corner, you and your team are probably preparing for the holiday shutdown period and settling your annual leave.
That being said, the process is not as simple as closing your doors and turning off your lights, although those are definitely things you should do and not take lightly!
Here is a list of things you should tick off of your to-do list to make sure the whole shutdown procedure goes smoothly.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
On the operations side of the business, you should:
  • inform your clients and suppliers of the closure as early as possible to avoid any inconveniences;
  • settle any outstanding invoices and payments;
  • let your landlord (if applicable) know about the planned shutdown period;
  • organise for a cleaner to come by and sanitise the office before closure, or inform your cleaner of your shutdown dates;
  • set up an out-of-office email for the business and all staff, and change the voice message of all telephones; and
  • reschedule or cancel any incoming or ongoing deliveries or services such as regular supplier packages.
On the last few days leading up to the closure, you should also make sure that your office facilities are in check before locking your doors for an extended period of time. The last thing you want is to be surprised when you come back to work after a nice holiday!
Of course, it is important to make sure that each member of your team is aware of what is going on and what they need to do to prepare for the closure.
You should:
  • inform your team members about the shutdown plan, and what the dates are. As usual, do this as early as possible so that the staff members are able to make the appropriate arrangements;
  • assign an employee (preferably a trusted or senior one) to close the shop on the final day before the closure; and
  • be sure to comply with the relevant award or agreement if your business requires employees to take annual leave during the closure.
Also, take note of the public holidays according to your state or territory that overlap with your shutdown period as this may affect your team’s annual leave, payroll and wages.
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