OfficeTeam Survey: Many Managers Forego Down Time During the Holidays

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 11 -- Some supervisors are saying, "Bah, humbug!" to holiday vacations, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of managers interviewed will not take extra time off between Thanksgiving and New Year's, beyond employer-provided vacation days. Another one-quarter (25 percent) said they will only take one or two days off during the holiday season.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.  

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

No days



One to two days



Three to four days



Five to six days



Seven or more days



Don't know/no answer





"Some supervisors and their teams feel taking extra time off during the holidays is not practical given current workloads and preparation for initiatives kicking off in the New Year," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "But getting away from the office allows people to recharge, which is no small consideration in a demanding work environment."  

Hosking added, "Employees take their cue from the boss, so managers should take vacation days when they can and encourage their teams to do the same."  

OfficeTeam offers six tips to help workers properly prepare for time off:

  1. Get on the calendar. Discuss your vacation schedule with your boss early. This increases the chances of having your request approved and allows your supervisor to manage projects accordingly.
  2. Take inventory. Create a checklist of items that must be completed before you leave so you don't overlook any details. Make your transition back to work more manageable by starting on assignments that are due soon after you return.
  3. Get a backup. Talk to your supervisor about who can handle your tasks while you're away. Make sure to provide your stand-in with the information needed to perform your duties. If you are a manager worried about keeping projects on track, consider bringing in temporary professionals.
  4. Spread the word. Let others know when you'll be out and who has been assigned as your point person. Include the alternate contact's information on your voice-mail and e-mail notices.
  5. Set ground rules. To truly enjoy your time off, disconnect from work as much as possible. If you must check in, establish "office hours" so colleagues are aware of the days and times you're available.
  6. Have a re-entry plan. On your first day back, arrive at work a little early or clear your morning schedule so you can check messages and refresh your memory on assignments. Getting up to speed systematically will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.  

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 320 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at  

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