Many employees stressed during holiday season

Last-minute projects, time-off requests, holiday parties among stressors: survey

Many employees stressed during holiday season
Only 30 per cent of employees “love the holiday season at work,” according to a survey.

While meant to be a celebratory time, only one in five (16 per cent) business leaders and 30 per cent of employees “love the holiday season at work,” according to a survey by Express Employment Services.

“There are lots of additional pressures for everyone during the holiday season,” says Brent Pollington, Express franchise owner. “Employees are coping with a strain on their wallets, there’s a rush to meet deadlines before the Christmas break and, for businesses that earn a significant amount of their annual revenue at this time of year, strong performance is critical.”

And it’s not just the holidays: Stress levels are on the rise in the workplace, according to a Morneau Shepell survey released earlier this year.

Holiday stresses

The top three stressors for business leaders is last-minute projects (20 per cent) or juggling employee time-off requests (17 per cent) and taking time off themselves (12 per cent). Buying gifts for co-workers (11 per cent) and the company holiday party (10 per cent) are also sources of stress, found the survey of 108 workers and jobseekers.

The most stress from employees comes from requesting time off (22 per cent) and buying gifts for co-workers (10 per cent). Workers are also stressed because of last-minute projects or requests (eight per cent), juggling their co-workers’ time off requests (six per cent) and finding seasonal work to earn extra money (six per cent).

The holidays should be a time for celebration and family, not stress and anxiety, says Express CEO Bill Stoller.

“By identifying the typical stressors and taking a thoughtful approach, employers and employees alike can take some of the worry out of the holidays and inject a little more joy into the season.”

This time of year can be great for a team, says Pollington.

“The holidays give people a sense of comradery which isn’t always felt at other times. Most people embrace the positives — teams get together for lunches and dinners, celebrate successes, talk about holiday plans, gifts and charitable giving.

“If employers can help foster all that and recognize the work their staff do year-round, it benefits the business and employees.”

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