Despite the distractions of festivities and other commitments, a recent survey says that workers actually claim to be more productive during the holiday season.
In a survey of more than 2,800 workers, 65% say they are more productive during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The study suggests Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco are the most productive cities during the holidays, while St. Louis, Des Moines, and Boston are the least productive. In the same survey, workers offer some common barriers to holiday productivity. These include personal and social commitments, greater year-end workloads, cold and flu season, and holiday shopping.
Employers can do much to boost employee morale during the holidays and keep productivity high. For example, a survey of 1,500 workers showed that 94% want some type of holiday gift from their employer, saying that this makes them feel appreciated, happy, and valued. According to respondents, they most want gift cards (29%) or extra time off (29%). Elsewhere, approximately one-fourth of respondents say they would like an open bar at the company’s holiday party, and about half that many would like a physical gift such as a travel mug, candy, or gift basket. Only 7% want a charitable donation made in their name, although that number is slightly higher among management staff.
There are some easy, budget-friendly ways to reduce holiday-related stress in the office while boosting morale and productivity. Among the most popular:
· A lunchtime yoga class
· Allowing employees to come in an hour late or leave early one day a week during the holidays
· Having a “personal shopper” on hand to help staff with holiday gifts
· Encouraging physical activity via health club passes/discounts, a lunch-hour walking club, or on-site exercise classes
· Bringing in a massage therapist for a day
· Having a “holiday fair” where employees’ children can get low-cost (or free) gifts for their families
· Showing special appreciation for employees who have to work on Christmas Eve or Christmas day with hot meals or other treats
· Giving employees time off for community volunteer activities
When the holidays are productive and fun, everyone starts the new year on a positive note; and employees are more likely to feel valued by and committed to the company.