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How is the elFM Team Keeping Santa Safe This Christmas? 

How is the elFM Team Keeping Santa Safe This Christmas? 
21 December 2020 | Updated 06 January 2021

Ensuring Santa is in full health ready for the big day has been the top priority for Lapland HQ – the hard-working elFM team has been supporting the implementation of a COVID-safe environment across the whole estate, from the North Pole and Lapland workshops to the Reindeer fleet and satellite offices across the world. 


Will Santa be Able to Travel This Christmas?


Speaking to Good Morning Britain in October, Professor Emer Shelley, the dean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, said travel restrictions would not apply to Santa this Christmas and confirmed that he would visit as usual, even with limitations on gatherings. She highlighted, that as he works at night, he naturally socially distances, which will enable safe visits to households:


“Everybody is asleep when Santa Claus calls, so he’s not going to come across anybody when he travels all around the world from Lapland.” 

– Professor Emer Shelley

Dean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland


But with increased infection rates across many countries and the recent announcement of new Tier 4 restrictions in the UK, many families are understandably concerned this may lead to a change in Santa’s ability to maintain the traditional present distribution schedule. 

Thankfully, ThisWeekinFM can exclusively reveal that Santa is currently fit and well – and following a successful programme of safety measures implemented by his dedicated elFM team, he is working as usual this holiday season. 



Well Versed in Elf and Safety Measures 


First things first, there’s no need to worry about compliance with increased COVID-secure measures, as the elves are no strangers to PPE. Christine Cringle, Head of elFM confirmed that the entire workshop team has been wearing aprons, safety glasses, masks and gloves to keep them safe whilst crafting toys for more than five years, following a rigorous set of risk assessments undertaken in 2015. Workshop safety practices have simply been rolled out to the wider global team and full training has been given to all, Santa included, by experienced Elf and Safety experts. 

Fortunately, due to the extensive expertise and impeccable manufacturing lines, they are able to produce much of their PPE in house, so there are no fears of shortages over their busy period and they are not taking much-needed PPE away from fellow key workers such as cleaners and NHS staff. 


Heeding HSE Warnings


Each year the HSE works with Santa to overcome concerns about compliance with the Working Time Directive. With so many elves working under time pressures to fulfil gift wish lists and a hectic delivery schedule to maintain on Christmas Eve, the Head of elFM confirmed that many employees, including Santa himself, choose to opt-out of the 48-hour week but assured us that all staff are rewarded for their hard work and dedication during December with a generous holiday allowance across the rest of the year. Workers are well rested at the start of the season meaning they are in peak physical condition when they begin their Christmas duties. 

The HSE does insist on health assessments for night work and the Lapland team is no exception. This year, all elves have undertaken a special assessment, taking into consideration the additional mental-health implications that COVID-19 has brought. Those who are deemed vulnerable and at risk from night work have been offered day shifts and shall work no more than eight hours per day to maintain a healthy work-life balance. With the support of such a fantastic team of professionals around him, fortunately, Santa passed this assessment with flying colours meaning he can work throughout the night on Christmas Eve as planned. 


Pioneers of Biophilic Wellbeing Features


The Christmas elFM team have been at the forefront of wellbeing measures for decades. Lapland HQ was one of the first office buildings to incorporate biophilic design into their workspaces, with an array of living pine trees in all meeting rooms as well as sprigs of mistletoe and holly adorning every workstation. 

Workers have long reported the benefits of the wellbeing features installed in their office environment – since 2012 their annual workplace surveys have consistently revealed that over 99 per cent of employees experience increased feelings of festive spirit during working hours and more than half credit their office environment as the number one factor in their overall wellbeing, with inspirational leadership coming in a close second with 47 per cent citing it as their number one wellbeing driver. 


Utilising Technology to Enable Home Working


Usually, Santa is on tour throughout December visiting children all over the world and noting their Christmas wishes. But as per guidelines issued from numerous governments worldwide, Santa has been taking precautions by working from home whenever possible. To facilitate this, he’s been getting to grips with technologies like Zoom and hosting interactive video calls with young fans.  


Wishing Families an ‘Appy Christmas


Thanks to Santa’s Chief Elf of Technological Innovation, the Portable North Pole app has been launched, allowing parents to contact Santa with ease from their smartphone and eliminate unnecessary transmission risks to the Christmas workforce. With restrictions still in place in many areas and continued frustrations of being stuck at home for many families, the app brings a little Christmas magic with words of encouragement from Santa to help overcome challenging behaviour and keep kids off the dreaded naughty list! 


“We’ve been working hard to train Santa on using digital platforms to increase contact with families whilst maintaining safely measures. With many grottos remaining closed, our Portable North Pole App brings the magic of Santa to you in a COVID-safe way and allows our leader to stay fit and healthy for his main duties.”

– Noel Jingle, 

Chief Elf of Technological Innovation


Chief Elf

Picture: Noel Jingle, Chief Elf of Technological Innovation


Safeguarding Santa’s Flight


Santa is considered a lone worker whilst undertaking his key Christmas Eve shift, so he has a close eye kept on him on with sophisticated satellite tracking provided by NORAD who have been safeguarding his flights for 65 years. If you are concerned about his whereabouts on Christmas Eve and would like to track his progress, you can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa site for assurance of his safe travels.


Wishing You All a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season


ThisWeekinFM would like to thank all the Facilities and Workplace Management professionals across the world who have kept workplaces and building occupants safe during this challenging year. We hope our content has helped inform and inspire you throughout. 

Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season – we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Picture: Santa using a smartphone

Article written by Daisy Miceli | Published 21 December 2020


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