One in three brits have been working this Christmas according to new survey

PUBLISHED: 11:56 29 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 11 May 2010

ONE in three Brits has been working this Christmas, according to a new survey. The study, commissioned by Skype, shows that while many of us will be enjoying the festivities with friends and family: - 23.2 million festive workers will be in the office on

ONE in three Brits has been working this Christmas, according to a new survey.

The study, commissioned by Skype, shows that while many of us will be enjoying the festivities with friends and family:

- 23.2 million festive workers will be in the office on Christmas Eve

- 5.8 million Brits are working on Christmas Day itself

- 11 million will be in on Boxing Day

- 18.9 million will be at their workplace on New Year's Eve

One third of those working in the UK during Christmas and New Year cited not being able to spend time with loved ones as the biggest downside to festive toil. However, it seems our seasonal workforce will go to great lengths to make sure that they don't miss out on all the traditional holiday fun.

3.8 million, or one in 10 of us, plan to take a "sickie" at Christmas to avoid working altogether

A quarter of festive workers will spend the time at their desks contacting friends and family

Over one fifth will settle down to watch TV during working hours, one in four workers will be surfing the net and 5.4 million will swap their usual job tasks for computer games during their time working in the holiday season.

The study also reveals that over a third of us work during Christmas and New Year out of choice with 19 per cent of festive workers deliberately swapping shifts with a colleague so that they can be in the office. However, 35 per cent of those working claim to still enjoy the holidays despite having to work and one in five employees are incentivized by the extra pay.

It seems that being stuck in the office for Christmas or New Year isn't going to stop the people of Britain keeping in touch with those they love this year. Communication barriers between the home and the workplace, regardless of location are shrinking as almost half (44 per cent) of us will send Christmas text messages, 22 per cent will keep in touch via Facebook or Twitter, and one in seven of us will log onto Skype to contact friends and family. Only 20 per cent of Brits say they will not be near a computer this Christmas, indicating that communications technology is high on everyone's agenda for the holidays.

"Christmas is traditionally a holiday for spending time with friends and family," said Jonathan Watson, Marketing Manager at Skype.

"However, some of us have to work and more people than ever before are choosing to use technology such as video calling and instant messaging to keep in touch with people whilst they work, wherever they may be in the world and no matter what they are doing.

"Skype video can let soldiers join in and watch when their kids open their presents, doctors to talk to their parents during a festive shift and night security staff to check that their children have left their stockings out for Santa before bedtime.

"Technology like Skype means you are closer to people than ever before, particularly during the holiday period," he said.

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