So said Accountemps. Specifically, managers were asked, “In your opinion, are employees more or less productive the week before a major holiday?” Six percent said employees were “much more productive.” Twelve percent said employees were “somewhat more productive.” About half (48 percent) said there was no difference. And 6 percent said employees were “much less productive.”
“Offices are often less productive during the holiday season than at other times of the year because of company parties, family festivities and other diversions,” says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. “It can be challenging for employees to strike a balance between personal and work obligations.”
Accountemps offers five tips to help employees juggle multiple priorities during the busy holiday season:
- Make a list, and check it twice. Examine deadlines for upcoming major projects and adjust them as needed due to holiday schedules. Check in with coworkers on their vacation plans to avoid unexpected delays or setbacks due to employee absences.
- Tie up loose ends with a bow. Don’t leave people hanging while you’re away. Before leaving the office early to attend a seasonal function or departing for holiday vacation, update your voice-mail and e-mail auto responses, and show coworkers how to find critical information.
- Exchange the gift of time. Delegate time-sensitive tasks and responsibilities to colleagues to take them off your plate and offer to return the favor when they’re out.
- Make merry selectively. Prioritize the events that are most important to you, and don’t feel pressured to attend every holiday function. Likewise, even if you aren’t traveling for the holidays, you can still take time off to shop, plan meals or attend to other year-end tasks.
- Remember, Santa’s not the only one with helpers. If your department is spread thin, consider interim staff to help with year-end projects. A staffing firm can help you identify skilled candidates.
These tips apply to all sorts of workplaces, from traditional office space to alternative workplaces like virtual offices. But a virtual office can help employees be more productive all year long. By eliminating the distractions of a traditional office, virtual office space sets the stage to work smarter, faster and more efficiently from January 1 to December 31.