A typically Dutch tradition is being modified to thank people for continuing to work throughout the Coronavirus pandemic
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, the ‘Kerstpakket’, or yearly Christmas box given by an organisation or company to its staff is getting a lux make-over this year. The company Yokado, which operates from Sneek in Friesland, says that a new trend for this year is smaller, flatter boxes that can fit through letter boxes: “you can even put a bottle of white wine in the, but the bottle is plastic. We’re calling it the home-workers packet- 75 percent of our orders this year will be delivered to someone at home”, says Louke Koopman, of Yokado.
The company is also saying that businesses are spending more on their Christmas packets this year- with one even opting for a 130 euro ‘air-fryer pack’. Others are spending more like 20 to 35 euros per employee, on boxes containing everything for a cosy evening in: think wine, posh crisps, and local nibbles.
You might think that travel items would fall down the wish list this year, with so many people unable to take any holiday at all, not so, says Yokado. “Some businesses have asked for a ‘travel packet’, so that staff have some nice things to use when they can travel again”, says Koopman.
A change in Dutch law has also made employers increase their budgets for staff welfare: “the ‘WKR-regeling’, or work expenses ruling, has changed”, says Koopman, “it was 1.7 percent of a total salary and is now 3 percent, which has caused budgets for this sort of thing to rise too”.
Another factor swelling companies budgets for staff welfare is that significant numbers of summer barbeques and other parties had to be cancelled due to social distancing rules.
Due to the warmth of September, and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, companies like Yokado have been receiving orders later than usual. On November 1, the company will begin packing its first orders: “it’s an enormous logistical puzzle, because we are doing a lot more home delivery this year. Normally it’s about 20 percent of orders”, says Aline Elgersma of Yokado.
The company is now working with local businesses to see if they can get a Christmas packet network up and running, so that employees can pick up their boxes at the local bakery, or similar. A new online planner has also been launched to help people choose a pick-up point.
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