Blue notecard that says "vacation" written on it

How to Reduce Employee’s Holiday Stress

By Anna Kleiner | 11/30/2016

‘tis the season… to be stressful. 61% of people report having holiday stress, while nearly 70% report being fatigued throughout the season. And they carry that stress into the workplace—resulting in lower productivity and sometimes, a rise in contagious illnesses such as colds and flu. This means days missed to more than just the holidays. Keep stress low—and productivity high—during the season with these tips:

Encourage your employees to take their vacation.

For many industries, the holidays are the slowest time of the year. If business is winding down for the holidays, encourage employees to take their vacation. It’s a win/win: you’ll ensure your employees are well-rested when it’s time to get back to the grind in the new year, and they’ll appreciate the support.

Don’t set unnecessary last-minute deadlines.

Does that big project have to be completed before the end of the year? Pushing employees to meet a last-minute deadline before everyone’s set to leave for the holidays often creates more problems than it solves. Stressed, rushed people make mistakes—and when they’re due to go on vacation the day after the deadline, they’re often more inclined to rush so that they can get the work down as soon as possible.

Instead of setting last-minute deadlines to rush to get everything done before the end of the year, sit back and think about what must be done, and what can wait.

Allow flexible hours and working from home (if appropriate).

Depending on your industry, you may be able to allow flexible hours during the holidays. Kids get out of school in the last half of December, and it can be difficult for employees with children to find childcare if they’re unable to take off work completely. These employees may need to leave earlier and come in earlier or leave later and come in later during the holidays. If their job roles permit, it might be a good idea to allow them to work from home on certain days. This helps employees accommodate their family needs as well as get work done.