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What Employees Don’t Like About the Holidays

Public Relations - Event


By Dr. Paul White

In response to some comments we had received from people regarding the upcoming holidays, we sent out a survey to our e-newsletter subscribers to find out what employees don’t like about the holidays.

Over 1,200 of our readers completed our survey. On each of the first two questions, they were given a list of 15 items to choose from (they could choose more than one).  And here are the results:

Q1. What aspects of the holiday season do you DISLIKE the most?

  1. 51%  Fighting trafffic.
  2. 39% The extra expense of Christmas.
  3. 34%  Gaining weight
  4. 34%  Coming up with gift ideas for others.
  5. 31%  Expectations to buy others gifts.
  6. 28%  Coming up with gift ideas for myself.
  7. 26%  Busyness.


Q2. What don’t you like that happens at the workplace during the holidays? 

  1. 28%  Pressure to get year-end tasks done.
  2. 23%  “White elephant” gift exchanges.
  3. 22%  Expected to buy gifts for colleagues or supervisor.
  4. 21%  Required to participate in “Secret Santa” giving.
  5. 20%  Having to attend after hours holiday celebration.
  6. 18%  Having to work on holidays.
  7. 18%  Being required to bring food for holiday luncheon.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Here are some practical tips for employers and managers that can be gleaned from the results:

  • Leave ample time for employees to work on the extra year end tasks and reports.
  • Don’t force your employees to participate in gift giving exchanges (explicitly or implicitly).
  • Be sensitive to scheduling issues and time requirements during the holidays.
  • If you are going to have a meal to celebrate, provide the food.

Additionally, we asked people to write and tell us examples of their worst holiday experience related to work.

Click on this link Survey Stories  to read some of the startling “my worst holiday work experience” stories submitted by over 500 readers.  I’m sure you’ll have similar reactions as I did to some (“You’ve got to be kidding me!!).

This article was reprinted with permission from the author.

Dr. White and HRDQ-U are hosting a webinar December 7th at 2pm ET.

72b2d268b02bddf69a634d21b13bc8e6_dr-paul-white-200-cDr. Paul White is a psychologist, author, speaker, and consultant who makes work relationships work. He has written articles for and been interviewed by Bloomberg’s Business Week, CNN/,, Fast Company,, Huffington Post LIVE, U.S. News and World Report, and Yahoo! Finance. Dr. White is the coauthor of the book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, written with Dr. Gary Chapman (author of the #1 NY Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages).

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