‘Tis The Season to Be Working

Survey Shows Many Employees Aren’t Taking Extra Days Off during the Holidays

(Editor’s Note: The holidays are particularly stressful, but library workers experience stressors year-round: doing more with less, increasing expectations from users and information overload. Does your employer offer work-life possibilities like alternative work schedules, wellness classes, health screenings and onsite childcare? The ALA-APA is encouraging library employees to participate in its Library Workplace Wellness online survey. The survey provides an important opportunity for library employees to share information about the availability of, and their participation in, work/life options in libraries around the nation. The online survey will be available through Dec. 14.)

MENLO PARK, CA–Santa’s elves won’t be the only ones working hard over the holidays. According to a recent survey, four out of 10 professionals will not take extra time off this holiday season, beyond employer-provided vacation days. Only 25 percent plan to take a week or more.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. The interviews were conducted by an independent research firm and include responses from 493 full- or part-time workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Employees were asked, “During the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays, how many days off from work will you take, beyond employer-provided days off?” Their responses:

No. of Days Off %
No days


One to two days


Three to four days


Five to six days


Seven or more days


Don’t know/no answer


“With the year coming to a close, employees may have already used up their vacation days,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “But other professionals sometimes get so wrapped up in work at the end of the year that they only take the company holidays they are granted.”

Many professionals catch up on projects and some firms enter their peak season during the holidays, so it’s important that workers prepare if they expect to take time off. “Everyone needs time away from work to recharge and avoid burnout,” added Domeyer. “For those who are planning to be out of the office, extra preparation can ensure they won’t return to an overwhelming amount of work or projects that have fallen off track.”

OfficeTeam offers the following tips for planning a worry-free vacation:

  • Plan ahead. Notify your manager early about your intent to take a vacation so you can secure the dates you want. This also gives him or her time to assess resource needs and bring in temporary help, if necessary.
  • Alert your team. Inform others about your travel plans so they can prepare for your absence. Alleviate confusion and undue stress by providing your manager and colleagues with a detailed record of active projects and their status.
  • Identify a point person. A coworker can serve as your backup and make decisions on your behalf and keep projects moving forward while you are out. Remember to return the favor the next time he or she is away from the office.
  • Clean your desk. Leave your workstation neat and organized. Also, show colleagues where your files can be found.
  • Use out-of-office functions. Let those who call or e-mail know you’re away, and give them the name of your backup, so important messages aren’t left unanswered.

OfficeTeam, the world’s leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals, has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.