Santa’s not the only one making a list and checking it twice: Many employees shift into high gear as the holidays approach, a new survey from Accountemps suggests. Thirty-two percent of workers polled said they become more productive the week before a major holiday. Twenty-two percent of professionals, however, reported that their output wanes.
The survey further revealed that late afternoon is when many workers experience a slump, with 29 percent citing 4 to 6 p.m. as their least productive time of day. Consistent with previous research, most employees seem to hit their stride between 10 a.m. and noon.
“The holidays are a hectic time for many professionals, and people react differently under pressure,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. “For some, upcoming holidays spur them to move faster and more efficiently, while others are slowed down by the feeling of being pulled in many directions.”
Driscoll further noted that reduced year-end productivity can pose challenges for many businesses. “Companies are trying to close the books on the quarter, staff up for the coming year and use up remaining budget as the holidays approach,” he said. “Many firms can benefit from bringing in temporary professionals to augment their staff. This enables core team members to take time off freely while keeping business on track.”
The pressures of preparing for the holidays may affect productivity levels at work, especially when combined with increased out-of-office messages and mounting workloads.
“With more workers taking time off around the holidays, it can be challenging for companies looking to tie up year-end budgets and develop plans for the coming quarter,” added Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps.
“To ensure activity levels keep up with business demands, managers should encourage their teams to submit requests for time off as soon as possible, or consider bringing on temporary professionals to fill staffing gaps where needed.”
In another survey, more companies are allowing access to online shopping during work hours. With holiday deals starting earlier each year, the temptation to act on them – even while at the office – is great.
And the ability to bag up bargains on company time is growing a new Robert Half Technology survey shows: Nearly one-quarter (22 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) said their firms allow unrestricted access to shopping sites.
Another 54 per cent said their companies allow access but monitor activity for excessive use. Only 24 per cent of CIOs said their firms block access to online shopping sites – down 33 per cent from 2012.
“Allowing employee’s access to online shopping is an easy way to gain their appreciation (especially during the holiday season), while demonstrating trust in their time-management abilities,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology. “That said, professionals should be careful to not abuse these digital freedoms by being wary of site security while browsing, and acting responsibly to minimize distractions during work hours.”
Also read: Getaways made easy
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