Are You Happier or More Stressed During the Holidays?


Are you generally in great spirits around this time of year? … More than one third (36 per cent) of Canadian professionals surveyed say they’re more cheerful at work during the holidays, according to staffing firm Accountemps.

But many are also busier, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they’re more stressed on the job this time of year.

“Preparing for the holidays and juggling year-end responsibilities at work can make this a busy and stressful time for employees,” said Canadian president of Accountemps Dianne Hunnam-Jones.

“To ensure business continues to run smoothly, employers should consult their teams to see how they can alleviate pressure, and consider providing additional resources to cover for vacations, or allow for flexible work schedules.”

What makes workers weary during the most wonderful time of the year?

Professionals polled cited balancing holiday events and work obligations (33 per cent), having fewer people on the job to help (20 per cent), and trying to take time off and coming back to heavy workloads (17 per cent) as the most stressful aspects of the holiday season.

As for the gift that would bring the most cheer, professionals cited allowing more flexible work schedules (30 per cent), higher year-end bonuses (27 per cent) and additional paid vacation time (23 per cent).

As the holidays approach, Accountemps offers the following tips to prevent on-the-job fatigue:

Make a list and check it twice. Before leaving work, write down top priorities to accomplish the next day. Keep a separate list for personal to-do’s. This will help you manage priorities, improve productivity and reduce stress during the holidays.

Look for helpers. If you’re buried with too many projects, speak up. Meet with your manager to discuss possible solutions to alleviate the pressure you’re feeling, such as adjusting deadlines or delegating.

Give yourself the gift of time. Plan for time out of the office, and help your boss prepare for your absence so all important projects are covered. Think about ways you can minimize your stress level, such as leaving a little early to get holiday shopping done.

Eat, exercise and be merry. It’s impossible to enjoy the holiday season if you don’t prioritize your physical and mental health. Take regular breaks during the day to refuel, rest or stretch.

An independent research firm surveyed more than 550 workers from Canada to determine employee happiness during the holiday season, as well as the impact of holiday stress.

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.

Graphics courtesy of Accountemps

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