Working on the Holidays
What can you do to make working on holidays a little more bearable?
David Cox | December 18, 2018
Many will be working on holidays. While millions will enjoy the holidays at home or visiting with family and friends, many will not have this opportunity. Can you imagine what would happen if every medical professional, uniformed service member, the and other first responders insisted on taking off on holidays? The reality is that many employees work for businesses that never close. These dedicated individuals will be on-the-job and available if we need them.
Lynze Wardle Lenio is a freelance journalist and blog writer from Salt Lake City, Utah. She wrote an article detailing several suggestions for people who are scheduled to work on the holidays. I want to share a few that will hopefully prove helpful in making your holiday work schedule a little more bearable.
Working on holidays is often unavoidable, and you may have few options to negotiate. Still, you could ask your boss if you can work from home. If that’s not an option, ask about splitting a shift so that you only work half of the holiday.
And if you have to be in the office the entire day, ask about getting an extra day off over the next holiday to make up for it. The promise of a four-day weekend over New Year’s or a few days to visit your family might make working on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day a little more bearable.
Reschedule the Holiday
Large families, with children and grandchildren who require significant travel time to gather in one place typically reschedule the holiday to accommodate as many family members as possible. If you are scheduled to work on a holiday, you can take a similar approach.
There’s no real reason that you have to celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November or Christmas on December 25th. If you know that you’ll have to be at work during a holiday, consider asking family and friends whether they would be willing to reschedule their holiday plans to accommodate your work schedule.
If they can’t reschedule for another day, consider planning a post-holiday event. You might be surprised by how many friends would enjoy a chance to share their Thanksgiving leftovers at a post-Thanksgiving potluck or take a break from family activities and have a December 26th holiday movie marathon. If you can creatively schedule an opportunity to experience the holidays with family, friends, or even by yourself—you’ll feel a little less like you missed out on all fun.
Avoid Social Media
You’re at work on the holiday, and possibly feeling a bit lonely and bored. You may feel it would be a good idea to log onto Facebook or spend some time scrolling through Instagram photos. Unfortunately, checking your social media communities while at work on a holiday is usually a big mistake.
Looking at pictures of everyone else celebrating with their families and relaxing after a big holiday feast while you’re at work is a formula for depression. Instead, if you need a break, go for a short walk or grab a snack. If you take periodic breaks, you’re more likely to stay focused, have more energy, and avoid the self-pity that comes from looking at pictures of your friends having fun without you.
What’s worse than working on a holiday? Working on a holiday and being so discouraged, distracted, or preoccupied that you don’t accomplish a single thing. It’s especially challenging to be productive if you’re the only one in the office, or if you want to be with family and friends, but you’ll feel much better about being at work if you make the most of your time there.
Write a list of tasks you hope to accomplish during your shift and cross them off one-by-one as you complete them. Not only will you feel productive, but the time is guaranteed to go by much faster than if you spend the day sending text messages and imagining the food you could be enjoying.
Nobody wants to get stuck at work over a holiday, but sometimes the situation is unavoidable. If you can find other ways to celebrate with family and friends and make the most of your time at work, you can get through these holidays without feeling deprived or cheated.