Sunday 8 December, 2019

Career Corner: Workplace tips for Christmas

It’s officially December- we’re approaching the end of 2017 and will soon start to make plans for Christmas and the New Year…some of you have probably started making plans already. If you’re like me, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year! With all the merriment and enjoyment of the season however, there are still things to be considered where the workplace and our jobs are concerned. Let’s discuss a few of these things…

- Time Off & Flexible Work Arrangements. At this time of the year, employees will want time away from the office as they prepare for the holidays. Some employees may not need an extended vacation however, and may only require a day or half day in some instances. It is good practice to allow employees time off during this holiday season. Within your departments you can create a roster and divide the schedules of employees on your team, so that each team member can get time off to tend to personal matters, while still ensuring that the company’s work gets done.

- Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Whether for religious reasons or otherwise, not all employees celebrate Christmas- and we must respect this. Don’t ask, suggest, or try to force persons to take part in Christmas related festivities if they don’t want to.

- Office parties. Quite likely your company will host an office party on the company’s premises or at an off-site venue. While attending, be mindful of excessive alcohol consumption and inappropriate behavior. While working in HR, I have had instances of embarrassed employees having to meet with me after office parties, because they had a too much to drink, and their behavior at party reflected this. HR Managers would much prefer not to have these conversation with employees however, and no employee wants to have that conversation either. Enjoy the party and have fun, but be responsible and professional.

- Budget & Finances. In the spirit of the holiday season, some workplaces pay out salaries and bonuses earlier than usual to accommodate gift buying etc. While this can be a good gesture, many employees often times don’t budget and plan appropriately and are soon in need of salary advances. Try to avoid being in this situation. Budget carefully. Spend wisely.

If you can, during this holiday season take part in charity related/ gift giving activities, and also use the break to spend time with friends and family. For those of you who may want to make career changes in the upcoming year, the holiday season is also a good time to think about your next steps and career moves. I wish for you all good things in 2018!

Malaika T. Edwards is a Human Resources consultant and provides advisory services to individuals and business clients. She is also a PhD scholar at the Louisiana State University (LSU) where she specializes in Human Resources and Workforce Development. You can contact her at, or on LinkedIn at 

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