Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Many Workers Experience More Stress During the Holidays

Thirty-nine percent of workers surveyed by Accountemps say it's more challenging to manage their workloads during the holiday season.

For the survey, Accountemps interviewed 459 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment. When asked, "In general, is it more or less challenging to manage your workload during the holiday season?", 25 percent of respondents answered "Somewhat more challenging" and another 14 percent said "Much more challenging." Forty-four percent of respondents said there was no difference.

Workers were also asked, "Which of the following best describes your current professional workload?" Nearly half (47 percent) answered "Just right," while 29 percent indicated their workload was "Somewhat too heavy." Twelve percent answered "Much too heavy."

According to Accountemps Chairman Max Messmer, accounting and finance professionals can suffer particular challenges during the holiday season due to year-end close responsiblities and tax season preparation, among other factors.

Accountemps indicated five ways employers can help their employees manage end-of-year-workloads:
  • Support: Ensure staff have the resources needed to successfully complete their projects, including skilled temporary staff if necessary
  • Time: Encourage staff to leave early on a Friday or take an occasional long lunch to attend to non-work responsibilities
  • Flexibility: Offer flexible schedules or telecommuting options to help employees with work/life balance
  • Thanks: Express your appreciation to staff members for their work throughout the year
  • Fun: Close the year with a department celebration to build camaraderie

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