If you've wanted to analyse how the Christmas season impacts your employees, you'd be interested to know that 70% of them are spending time at work holiday shopping, per Hibob's latest employee survey. Moreover, one in three admit to being distracted during this period.

These workplace distractions come in the form of reduced face-time as well - nearly 50% of the 1,000 US-based workers surveyed report having to work harder to make up for their colleagues’ vacation time in December.

As such, a company’s holiday policy – which is a combination of activities including decorating the office, hosting holiday parties, and whether or not flex time is offered – has a strong impact on employees’ job satisfaction during the festive season. The more flexible a company policy is by giving employees the ability to take time off or work remotely, the more satisfied employees will be.

Ronni Zehavi, CEO of Hibob, commented: "Employees are very likely to judge a company’s culture based on how leadership approaches this season, which gives managers and HR teams an opportunity to shine.

"Embrace flexibility and acknowledge that your team has other things on their mind, so be realistic with your goals and plan ahead to ensure no one individual feels they have to take on the burden of the holidays."

How can HR leaders and managers strike the right balance of celebration and a focus on the job at hand? Here are some tips to leverage the festive season to continue the positive culture:

  • Encourage flexibility: One in ten people (13%) take advantage of flexible work schedules more often during the holidays. By offering flexible work options and even expanding these during the holiday season, managers can balance time off easily with their teams and ensure there’s no individual taking on too much of the burden while their colleagues are celebrating.
  • Build special events for your team: Channel the level of distraction by creating special events that can positively impact team morale. Provide the resources and encouragement needed for managers to create unique experiences for their staff during the winter holidays.
  • Create experiences that support team-building: More than 90% of employees feel the holidays should be celebrated at work, and gift exchanges or ugly sweater parties are a great way to bring employees together. With many workers spending time planning for their family celebrations, providing an opportunity for employees to celebrate can help build morale.
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