6 tips for Staying Productive During the Holiday Season

The festive season is upon us.

Christmas shopping, hosting and travelling are just some of the activities that are distracting us from putting in a 100 percent at work. Many of us look forward to spending more time with family and getting some well-deserved rest, away from the demands of work. Although it may be tempting to give a “motivational talk” to your employees to remain focused on work, the key is to have realistic expectations while ensuring a consistent level of output.

Employees in holiday mood

Here are 6 tips to consider for staying productive during the festive season:

  1. Provide flexibility

Being flexible about work schedules can mean anything from allowing employees to work from home or letting them clock fewer hours in the office. This may seem counter-productive on initial thought, but it actually helps to increase productivity when employees are in the office. Whether it is decorating the house, shopping for gifts or baking cookies, budgeting enough time during the day to complete these tasks will mean that your employees will focus their attention on their work requirements. What is crucial here is that tangible results should be the outcome. Many employees find that a flexible work schedule helps during the festive season as they can complete work tasks efficiently in their own way without dealing with the stress of being in the physical office.

2. Avoid launching major work projects or initiatives

November and December are not ideal for implementing major work initiatives unless it is holiday-related. With most employees thinking about how to fulfil family and personal commitments, it can be tough to get a hundred percent effort to kickstart your project with enthusiasm. Similarly, there may be lukewarm response for your work projects from customers and stakeholders due to bad timing. However, the year end is a good time to get employees to reflect on what they have achieved for the past year and to brainstorm on ways to bring the company to new heights in the new year.

3. Communicate priorities and expectations

Before employees start disappearing for the holidays, set aside time to brief them on what are the work priorities or expectations. Communicating with them early will allow them to plan their time wisely and balance both professional and personal commitments. When employees are aware of their responsibilities and the deadlines to meet them, they can begin to plan and manage expectations from their bosses. 

Adopt a holiday mood

The holidays are a good time to boost employee engagement and express your appreciation for the employees’ contributions and hard work. Get into the holiday mood by allowing employees to play Christmas-sy songs, rocking Santa’s Hat or dressing up the office in shades of red and green. Being in a good mood means that employees feel less stressed, helps them get more done and may actually enjoy what they are doing. Letting employees embrace the festive mood creates positive vibes that can aid in productivity!

5. Host an office celebration

Organizing a Christmas party or annual dinner and dance even for your employees helps to recognize them for putting in hard work and also allow them an opportunity to bond with their colleagues and unwind. Even if your company is a small start-up, suggesting a potluck lunch or simply taking your employees out for a Christmas lunch portrays a picture of gratitude of the value of your employees. One way to ensure that employees get the most from this event is to gather suggestions from them and involve them in the execution of the event. Setting aside some time to socialize and mingle with one another, particularly those from another department may promote a healthier work culture and build a foundation for future work collaboration.


Colleagues gathering for Christmas celebration

6. Avoid procrastination

It may be easy to blame it on the distractions of the holiday season and delay getting work done. While procrastination creates a “feel good” momentum temporarily, reality will set in and increase tension levels, causing the holiday season to be unbearable for you. One way to overcome procrastination is to plan a schedule for your work tasks. Sticking to a schedule help you to stay focused and meet deadlines, freeing you up to do your Christmas shopping after work. Also, consider that mornings are the most productive time for most of us, hence get the more important and urgent work done when you get into the office.

Don’t forget about the fact that the holidays only roll around once a year. They are a time for us to be grateful. By being understanding to the commitments and spiritual needs of your employees and giving them time to offload their work stress, it can go a long way in making them feel refreshed and ready for a new year ahead.


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