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Holidays create extra stress for workers, survey finds

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Photo: Accountemps

Menlo Park, CA – The holiday season brings with it a mix of joy and stress for workers: 51 percent say they’re more cheerful at work this time of year, but 35 percent feel more work-related pressure, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Accountemps, a finance staffing firm.

More than 2,700 workers were surveyed to find out which of 27 U.S. cities have the happiest employees and which have the most stressed employees during the holidays, as well as the impact of holiday stress on workers.

Among the factors that employees reported increasing stress levels:

  • Balancing work and holiday obligations (32 percent)
  • Taking time off and returning to heavier workloads (23 percent)
  • Having a smaller staff than usual because of time off (18 percent)
  • Buying gifts for co-workers and contacts (11 percent)
  • Attending holiday office parties (8 percent)

When asked what work-related benefits would bring respondents the most holiday glee, 37 percent said higher year-end bonuses, 32 percent wanted more flexible work schedules and 17 percent chose more paid vacation.

“Between professional responsibilities and personal commitments, it’s all too easy for employees to become overwhelmed during the holiday season,” Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, said in a press release. “Managers can support their teams by allowing more flexible schedules. Workers should take time off to enjoy the season with family and friends and avoid burnout that could carry over into the new year.”

To alleviate or prevent job-related fatigue, Accountemps suggests:

  • Before leaving work, list priorities for the next day. Keep a separate list for off-the-job to-dos.
  • Ask for help if you have too much work. Your supervisor might consider solutions such as adjusting deadlines or delegating.

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