Now that December has arrived, there is no hiding from the fact that Christmas is less than 4 weeks away. As the build-up intensifies, days seem to get shorter as schedules become packed with shopping trips, social gatherings and last minute jobs. As 2015 draws to a close, there are many treats to look forward to this month – mince pies, mulled wine, a new pair of socks under the tree and many more. However, as a contractor, there are many expenses and loose ends to tie up. Despite working over the holiday and maybe getting a little extra pay, due to the festivities and beckoning shops you are unlikely to feel better off.

In order to get the best out the Christmas period we derived some tips that you should consider.

Organisation
Contractors often find that in December, they face the same amount of work as any other month, but have less time to do it in. With a high percentage of offices shutting down over the Christmas period, it is likely that you will be unable to use your client’s resources, but still expected to produce a high output. Organising your month in advance is crucial to meet the high demands you face. By getting organised, prioritising your tasks, and starting them early, you will be able to take some of the strain out of the Christmas period.

Reliability
Reliability is arguably the most important trait that your clients will be looking for when choosing a contractor. Over Christmas, companies are often hectic due to the decreased working days. End of year tasks and celebrations will be crammed into the shorter working month which means that your clients must be able to rely on you to complete the agreed work.

Time out
Christmas is an important time to take time off from your working commitments. Take advantage of bank holidays and any time you have booked off. Relax, spend time with your friends and family, and recharge your batteries.

Deadlines
Deadlines are usually a lot tighter when it comes to Christmas. People take time off so they generally want things done as soon as possible – before they break up. Find out which of your stakeholders are going away and when they will need any work done by. Try and get it done as early as possible to allow for last minute changes and any other unforeseen complications.

Pay
Lots of companies pay their permanent staff early in December to help with the Christmas costs. As a contractor you may need to raise timesheets and/or invoices to get paid. Make sure you have done any necessary paperwork in time and that there will be someone around to sign it off. Also, make sure you are aware of your agency and umbrella deadlines, as they will also have a shorter month in December. For Cloud9 Umbrella, please submit your expenses claims by noon on December 22nd and noon on December 29th.

To find out more about our umbrella service please call one of our team on 020 7078 0212. Alternatively, you can contact us here. Our office is located in Canary Wharf so if you are in the area, come in for a chat. If you’re lucky there might be a mince pie floating around!