'Tis the season for a drop in workplace productivity

Poll shows half of Canadians report lower productivity during the month of December

With the holiday season now in full swing, Canadians are letting their work performance decline.

Whether it's due to holiday shopping during the workday, a social lunch or just plain lack of motivation, more than half of working Canadians admit their personal workplace productivity is lower during the month of December, according to a recent poll on Workopolis.com.

"As we countdown to Christmas, it's easy to become distracted. But for working Canadians, holiday shopping and celebratory lunches have to fit with our regular workload," said Patrick Sullivan, president of Workopolis. "To maintain workplace productivity, employers and employees should set realistic goals and objectives to make sure time at work is most efficient, even in the days leading up to Christmas."

According to the poll, half of Canadians (52 per cent) report lower workplace productivity during the month of December, with Albertans (59 per cent) reporting they're the most distracted by the annual festivities, and Quebeckers (45 per cent) saying they're least distracted.

Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) report the overall pace at their workplace is slower and they feel less motivated. Another 18 per cent complain too many other people are on vacation and they can't get their job done. One-fifth of workers confess lunch-time holiday parties and shopping are getting in the way.

As workplace productivity declines in the month of December, the majority of Canadians want out of the office altogether, with three-quarters believing their workplace should be closed above and beyond the statutory holidays. However, more than one-third of workers in the Prairies, NWT and Nunavut don't feel the need for extra time off at the holidays

When it comes to celebrating with coworkers, Canadians rejoice in different ways. Nationally, almost half attend an after-hours or evening party; while in Quebec, nearly sixty per cent gear up for an evening out with colleagues. One-third of Canadians engage in a more casual weekend party, while less than one-quarter celebrate during lunch or during the work day.

"The holiday party is a chance to toast the season with your coworkers, but people need to remember that it's still work," added Sullivan. "Employers are inviting their team out for fun, with few formal rules in mind, but employees need to remain professional and make sure they cover the basics - arrive on time, drink responsibly and don't say anything you wouldn't want to face in the morning."

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