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It is common knowledge that employees’ minds are elsewhere over the holiday season. This is the least productive period of the year by all metrics. Many people are getting ready to spend time with family and friends, holiday festivities, gift giving, seeing relatives, dealing with holiday turmoil, and fretting about getting everything done all add up to a less productive and less motivated team. As a leader, part of your job is to keep the engine of your department running.

From a business standpoint, the show must always go on. However, maintaining a positive and effective work environment during the holidays can be challenging. Here are some productivity recommendations.

Flexible Schedules

Employers can keep their employees focused on assignments by providing a flexible schedule. This helps employees arrive and leave within core working hours while still accomplishing their errands. They are less likely to be sidetracked if they are present physically and mentally during work hours. In addition to being flexible, avoiding overtime around the holidays is a wise choice, if possible. Some industries prefer to have overtime shifts to have more disposable income.

Celebrate With The Team

When employees see their manager getting into the holiday spirit, a feeling of trust and relaxation permeates throughout the office. Being in the spirit is also a great motivator. All-inclusive holiday parties, special events, and office decorations can enhance staff productivity. An enjoyable day out might drive your workers to work more. It can also help coworkers bond and boost holiday productivity. Any group activity outside work can increase morale. This can be lunch or a visit to an amusement park or museum. 

Give Recognition

Employee recognition will help strengthen human connection. Food-based bonuses enhance employee morale. Numerous surveys confirm that having food in the office makes people feel valued and happy. This is more true around the holidays. Financial bonuses are always well-received, especially with a personal touch like a handwritten acknowledgment. Giving public shoutouts to team members is another way to make them feel seen and valued. 86% of workers are motivated by recognition.

Allow Remote Work

Allowing employees to work from home can enhance holiday productivity. This helps them avoid taking personal time. Studies have shown that employees tend to appreciate and demonstrate thanks by working harder from home. Give your employees a day or two to celebrate if you can’t offer a remote schedule. According to studies, this form of holiday leave can enhance employee productivity and make them calmer and more ready to work.