While this may be “the most wonderful time of the year,” according to professionals across the country, December is also the most stressful time of year at work.
Navigating the ins and outs of the holidays can be tricky in the workplace — what to give gift-wise and to whom, how to handle time off and do’s and don’ts for the holiday party. Add to that juggling personal and professional demands, and this time of year can really take its toll. We asked professionals how they tackle the holidays and where they could use a little help. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone — we’re all in it together and here to help each other. Here are some tips on how to manage the biggest holiday season challenges so you can look ahead brightly to a fresh start next year.
- Time is money, make it for family and friends. For most of us, the holidays are about being with people we love and recharging. So, it’s not surprising that almost three-quarters (73%) of professionals say they would prefer more time off over a holiday bonus. A great way to mitigate holiday stress is to find time by actually taking that time off and really disconnecting to be present. Not sure how to coordinate days off with work? Check out our tips on asking for vacation time.
- To office gift, or not? That is the question, but not the only one. How much? To whom? When? If holiday office gift exchanges make you uncomfortable, you aren’t alone, and almost half (45%) of professionals simply don’t buy gifts for co-workers. Office cultures are different. If you are new at your job, get a temperature read of how your office handles gifts. If they are exchanged, think through what you give. Interestingly, 79% of professionals say they’d rather share an experience than exchange gifts. So, rather than worrying about what to buy for whom, you could consider organizing an activity co-workers can share like cookie decorating in the breakroom or volunteering together in the community.
- Make your health a priority. Seasonal stressors can affect our health, yet many of us are reluctant to take time off to recuperate. It’s a problem not just during the holidays, but year-round: working professionals took an average of just 2.5 sick days this year. Many say they can’t afford to miss a day, with professionals ages 18-34 three times as unlikely to take a day off due to money worries. The truth is the majority (57%) of your colleagues say you should take that sick day if you need it. After all, the fewer germs in the office, the better for everyone!
- Your holiday party = build your professional community. Wondering whether it’s okay to use holiday office parties to grow your professional community or look for a new job? We asked and discovered that more than 40% of professionals think it’s okay to take advantage of social events to build connections. So go ahead and make connections, it’s a great way to find common ground with your colleagues, but choose your topics of conversation wisely: colleagues ages 55+ are twice as likely as younger professionals to find work talk inappropriate at a party. Keep it light and festive, and follow up post-party for more substantial work conversations.
Navigating the holidays doesn’t have to cause undo stress if you remember that we are all #InItTogether.
The survey was conducted online by Cenuswide on behalf of LinkedIn in November 2018 among 1,000+ working professionals ages 18-55+ across the U.S.