A survey by Regus, the world’s largest supplier of office space, has revealed that opening the office on Christmas Eve will be a waste of time and energy for businesses.

Just over one in four Brits are expected to be working next Monday – slightly less than the US where 31% will make the trek in to the office.

But more than 60% of those who will show their face at work openly admitted they will not be working as hard as usual, with many planning to shop online or catch up with friends on social networking site Facebook.

Regus said this will not only cost businesses money, but will cost the environment, with heating, lighting and power being used in offices operating with a skeleton staff.

It urged bosses to let staff who wanted to be productive on Christmas Eve work from home instead.

Jayne O’Brien, chief marketing officer for Regus, said: “Christmas Eve falling on a Monday this year could end up being a complete waste of time, energy and money for businesses and employees.

“With around three quarters of Brits planning to take the day off, we’re calling on bosses to allow those staff who could remain productive, to work flexibly on Christmas Eve this year – whether that’s from home or a business centre nearby – rather than commuting to work in an almost empty office.”

Research by Durham University and JBA found that companies in the UK can reduce their carbon emissions by around 5% by closing the office for one day per week and allowing staff to work from home.

The business world accounts for 40% of carbon emissions and office commuting alone contributes 19.7m tonnes of CO2 per annum in the UK.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie