The holiday season is officially here, and with it comes a constrained office budget, an influx of PTO requests and unnecessary stress looming well after the new year. The holidays are tough on everyone, and unfortunately the solution is never one-size-fits-all. Some employees are stressed about giving their family a great Christmas while also making sure ends meet. Others are stressed about having family in town. Some are stressed about holiday schedules, balancing full-time work with traveling needs. While others are stressed about more work than they can handle. 

Truthfully, there is no shortage of anxiety with the holidays, but you – yes, you! – can do something to make your employees breathe a little easier this year. 

Stuff Those Stockings with PTO

Not every business is closed for the holidays, and very few are closed for additional time off before and after the holiday. If possible, spread some holiday cheer by approving as many PTO requests as possible, and be more lenient with telecommuting around the holidays. Telecommuting allows for the best of both worlds; it gives employees freedom to travel and be around family, while plugging in to get the necessary work done. 

Reward the Elves 

Not everyone needs time off for the holidays, and would rather work as much as they can for various reasons. Incentivize and reward those individuals who are willing to put in the extra time and effort over the holiday season. Let’s be honest, it’s often a thankless job, so be sure to show your appreciation to those going above and beyond when others cannot. 

Spread Good Will

Doing something nice for others feels, well, nice! Come together as a department, office or get the whole company involved in spreading good will and giving back to those in need. A fundraiser, donation drive or philanthropic event out of the office are all great opportunities to give back as a team. Nothing helps stress and anxiety like a good deed, especially when you get to do it together!

Deck the Hall

It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re sitting among twinkly lights, decorated trees and paper mache snowflakes, right? Deck your company’s halls and throw up some holiday decorations this year. Better yet, let your employees take the reins and decorate their desks or cubicles! Make it a game and provide small prizes for the most creative entries. Whatever you choose, just ensure there are tinsels and trappings, and ribbon and wrappings!

Give the Gift of…Gifts!

Studies show that employees want a bonus at the end of the year. Can you blame them? If your company can afford to, give a bonus. However, be warned that employees don’t take lightly to receiving a bonus one year, then not receiving one the next. Consider your long term plans before diving head-first. If individual bonuses aren’t in the budget, an alternative plan is to give employees a gift that keeps you within budget. Personalized coffee mugs, step counters, extra PTO for the following year – whatever you choose will be appreciated!

Can’t you already feel the stress fading away? The holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful, even if you have an office to make merry! After all, Andy Williams says, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year!’ How do you plan on spreading the cheer this year? Keep the celebrations going in the comments below!