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5 tips for reducing office stress during the holiday season

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Keeping employees healthy, stress-free and productive is always a challenge – the workplace is constantly presenting little obstacles here and there that make human capital management difficult. But things get especially tough during the holiday season.

There can be numerous challenges to staying productive throughout December. Perhaps most obviously, employees aren’t working as much as they’re frequently taking time off around the holidays. They’re traveling, shopping and making plans with family and friends.

They may also become stressed as they are worried about finishing work before they leave the office for holiday. They’re struggling to balance their jobs with the other life priorities that come up. Big picture-wise, they’re scrambling to achieve their goals for the end of the year.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, combating stress is especially difficult in December. This is the downside to the festivity of the holiday season – it brings significant workplace productivity challenges.

The following 5 tips can help reduce stress in the office during the holiday season:

1. Plan well in advance

If you don’t want to drown in stressful December work projects, one thing that can help is advance planning. Get projects done ahead of time if possible, and with the ones that remain, set a schedule that’s feasible.

2. Set realistic expectations

The last thing you want to do is aim too high in December, trying to get too much work done and coming up short. That may leave you with extra assignments in January. Keep the workload reasonable.

3. Allow for flexibility

Having a flexible mind-set is key around the festive holiday. There are likely to be work absences as a result, but what’s more important is that employees take the time off they need to spend with family and friends, and recharge before coming back into the office.

4. Make the holidays fun

December isn’t all just panic and stress management – you can also enjoy the holiday season a little bit with treats and office parties. This can boost staff morale and help relieve the pre-holiday tension.

5. Look to the future

Aside from getting ready for the holidays, you can also use this time to look ahead to next year. What does 2016 have in store for your organisation? Think about the next moves that you could potentially make. And don’t forget to celebrate all your successes in 2015!

Check out these top 10 tips for fitting work and life together.

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