Quarter of People Admit to Checking Work Emails on Christmas Day


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is calling for the UK to step away from their smartphones and put the heart back into Christmas - as the latest survey commissioned by Traidcraft, shows a quarter of the UK will check their work emails on Christmas Day.

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of the UK admits to checking work emails on Christmas Day
  • 66% of people think that Christmas has lost its true meaning                  

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: “Christmas is a day of good news, a day of great joy and a day to give thanks. I would encourage all those not working on Christmas Day to focus on connecting with family and friends, to enjoy this time with loved ones. I love using social media and email because of the instant connection with the world they bring but have a ‘phone fast’ from work on this day!”

While a quarter of us will check in with our work emails, the Traidcraft survey results also show that we’re a nation of Christmas traditionalists who put human connection at the top of their Christmas list: more than three-quarters (77%) of people said that a hand-written Christmas card is the festive greeting they prefer over all others.

A similar amount (72%) said that spending time with family and friends was the one most important thing to them about Christmas. In a heart-warming gesture towards those who may be spending Christmas alone, around six in 10 people said they would call in for a cuppa to show someone lonely they care.

The Archbishop’s comments come as part of Traidcraft’s Show You Care campaign, which is calling on people across the UK to show they care and support its life-changing work by buying fair trade. When you buy from Traidcraft’s wide range of fair trade products, producers and artisans in some of the world’s poorest regions can be lifted out of poverty and supported to build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families.

Larry Bush, Traidcraft Marketing Director, echoed the Archbishop's sentiments. He said: “Our recent survey shows the busy lives people today are living, with nearly a quarter of us checking our work emails on Christmas Day. We asked people whether they felt Christmas had lost its true meaning and almost seven in 10 said it had. 

“At Traidcraft, our Show You Care campaign is all about bringing some of the simplicity back to this time of year and remembering what it’s really a celebration of. 

“This Christmas, we’re encouraging people to take a moment and think about what they can do to make a difference. We can keep the Christmas spirit alive by being there for each other and helping people in the world’s poorest countries so they can work their way out of poverty and create better, more sustainable lives for their families and communities.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Traidcraft’s Show You Care campaign can do so at www.traidcraftshop.co.uk


Producer story – Show You Care    

Get Paper Industries or GPI, based on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of Traidcraft’s longest-standing producers and supplier of handmade paper products, such as wrapping paper, cards, and felt, sold through the Traidcraft shop.

It provides an incredibly important social function. GPI gives a portion of its profits to its sister company GWP which has recently funded the building of local schools, promotes better health, and campaigns against human trafficking, a major problem in Nepal with as many as an estimated 15,000 women sold and trafficked out of Nepal every year.

Traidcraft is providing support and funding to help GPI with a felt workshop it has set up in Hetauda, southern Nepal. This workshop provides employment to women who have either been trafficked or who are at risk of being trafficked into the sex industry.

Felt is an important craft business in Nepal and Traidcraft is working to find GPI new markets so that the women will have work all year round, and will be able to take more control of the business, learn new skills and earn a better income. The products are made and sold according to fair trade principles.

Traidcraft is currently the felt workshop’s only customer. Without orders, the women will once again be without work and be exposed to threats from those who are only too happy to exploit vulnerable women.

Sumitra’s Story

“I was raped by a group of notorious guys in my own village. As those guys were from the same village and they were very powerful in the village, so my family members were scared of them and asked me to leave the village. I did not have any other option except to leave my own village being scared off by the group of guys who raped me. Literally crying, scared and frightened, I reached the GWP field office Hetauda with a peer educator Maya of GWP girls group. Maya is my friend from my childhood. Actually Maya has brought me to GWP for an HIV test, because Maya was afraid I would be infected with HIV after the group rape. In the GWP field office I met with Ms. Parbati Bartaula. She listened to my story and counselled me to be not afraid now, and assured me that she would enrol me in a felt craft production unit after training, where I would be employed. Now I am working in felt craft production and I am confident, cool and living with self-respect.” 



Notes to editors 

  • Traidcraft is the UK’s leading fair trade organisation and offers the best of fair trade – it has spent more than three decades seeking out and supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised farmers and artisans across the developing world.
  • Not only does Traidcraft sell the ‘best of fair trade’ products, its campaigns team lobbies on behalf of the world’s most under-privileged people and it runs life-changing development projects in the world’s poorest countries. Last year, Traidcraft’s work benefited 600,000 people, lifting them out of poverty and helping them build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families.