Hark! The holiday season is upon us! Alongside the parties, shopping, and travel, WORK MUST STILL GET DONE. Let’s call it the December Challenge. It’s been around for a long time.
Here are tips to stay focused and productive (and merry) during this magical time of year.
1. Plan Ahead
Sit down with your team and chart out a calendar for December and January. Who will be away, burning off stored vacation time? Who will be in every day? Map it out and assign who will cover for absent coworkers. This helps you be ready for possible issues and avoid last minute surprises.
2. Communicate Internally
Make sure your entire team is aware of each other’s modified work schedules, including who will be working from home and who will be covering for whom. Make it clear that keeping projects on track is a priority. Make sure everyone stays in touch via your company’s usual communication methods and that a work in progress update is provided to those who will be covering.
3. Communicate Externally
If you will be out of the office for an extended amount of time, it’s important to let your clients know. Out-of-office replies are a great way to notify them who to contact while you are out and when you’ll return. However, it’s best practice to inform key clients well in advance and let them know the dates you will be out. Also, update them on the status of their projects and what (if anything) will be happening with those projects during your absence.
4. Lighten Up
You can lighten the load without affecting productivity. This can be done by easing some of the processes that are not critical to the completion of specific projects. For example, instead of holding your weekly agenda-driven staff meeting, you can opt for a quick meeting discussing just the priority tasks at hand.
5. Decorate, Enjoy, and Celebrate
With co-workers taking time off for the holidays, the skeleton crew left behind in the quieter workplace might enjoy some spirit-lifting activities. Create an environment that is festive and joyful. Bring cookies, and find other ways to share the season’s happiness. You could arrange a potluck lunch or a fundraising activity that will help bring everyone together for some festive down time.
By using these tips during the holiday season, you can keep the productivity level high while keeping your coworkers happy and motivated. Happy holidays!