Three years ago I tried something new... I decided to close my company for the entire week between December 25th and January 1st. I was nervous about this decision because I was worried clients would be upset or need us and we wouldn't be there. And I wasn't sure about the benefits. But my instinct was right on the money with this decision, and here's why...
By giving employees permission to switch OFF for a week during this busy and stressful time of year, we sent a very clear message to them all... their personal well-being matters. Removing job stress was thoughtful and truly impactful for people during this time. And it just simply showed them how much we really care.
The decision also sent a clear family-first message to our team and our clients. By closing the office we 'put our money where our mouth is' and really demonstrated that striving for a work-life balance, while sometimes hard to accomplish, can happen when employers and employees work together. (Or in this case together decide NOT to work!)
And to my surprise the biggest benefit came AFTER we reopened in January. People returned to work rested, happy and relaxed. Moral was never higher, even after such a hectic time of year, and employees were excited to come back to work in the new year.
So when you see the dreaded 'we are closed for the holidays' message this year consider all of these possible reasons and benefits before you get upset or complain. Maybe slowing down just a little more during the busy holiday season isn't such a bad thing after all!