How to manage employee schedules during the holidays

December 18, 2018


The holiday season can bring a host of social gatherings, gift exchanges and visits with family and friends. While these things make this “the most wonderful time of the year” for many people, they can create a dilemma for businesses, leaving workplaces sparse or with sidetracked employees.

To avoid a lull in productivity, employers may consider implementing the following tips this holiday season:

Communicate policies early

As the holidays approach, managers should clarify company policies and expectations regarding time off with staff. Providing clear communication may help prevent difficult conversations or tension if an employee’s time-off request cannot be accommodated. Employers may even consider sharing copies of office policies with employees for awareness. This communication should also note any blackout dates due to project deadlines, outline proper protocol for requesting vacation time, and list office closure dates.

Prepare for festive distractions

Preparing for the holiday season through online shopping or planning a winter vacation can easily interrupt an employee’s focus on work. Management may encourage staff to stay on task throughout the workday and lift overall office morale by permitting team members to take breaks throughout the day to accomplish personal tasks. Additionally, holiday-themed group activities, such as a voluntary gift or cookie exchange, can help foster goodwill and team spirit among company teams or departments. Bringing a festive spirit into the workplace can increase employee engagement, leading to greater dedication to work-related responsibilities.

Allow flexibility when possible

With clients on vacation and projects winding down, many companies are quiet near the end of the year. If possible, business owners might consider closing their office the last week of the year and giving staff additional time off. While this is not feasible for all organizations, businesses can still offer increased flexibility by creating a shorter work schedule during the holiday season or allowing employees to work remotely on certain days. If managers are unable to give staff time off for the holidays, they may consider offering comp days to take at a different time of the year.

By planning ahead and implementing these strategies, business owners and managers can maintain productivity while allowing employees to enjoy the season. 

About Insperity

Eric Bonugli is a district manager and Kay Oder is a Certified Business Performance Advisor for Insperity. They are located in the company’s Austin office. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 32 years provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance.

Topics: Human Resources

Kay Oder


Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2016 revenues of $2.9 billion, Insperity operates in 61 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit

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