How to Combat Holiday Stress and ‘Presenteeism’ In the Workplace

Holidays are supposed to be a time of family, friends, food, and fun. But for many business owners, it’s a time of pressure and stress.

Holiday Stress

A Healthline survey found that 65 percent of respondents from Generation X and 61 percent of Millennials feel some stress during the holidays. About 62 percent of Baby Boomers fell into the same category. If you feel stressed during the holidays, you’re certainly not alone.

“Stress is heightened during the holiday season,” Bill Scheinman, a San Francisco-based life coach who focuses on stress reduction, told Entrepreneur.com. “There is the existential stress that comes as the year nears its end. We assess the place we're at in our lives and decide if we're achieving our life goals or not.”

One of the biggest stressors is work. According to the American Psychological Association, work adds more stress to the holidays than home life. This could be in part because, during the holidays, people feel pressure to participate in holiday celebrations at work.

Forty-four percent of the executives who were surveyed by Accountemps said productivity drops off the week before the holiday. Some of that drop off in productivity is caused by relaxed employees getting into the spirit of the season. Part of it is work- or family-related stress. With a Virtual Receptionist on hand, you can prevent productivity drop off without burning out employees.


Presenteeism happens when employees show up for work, but they bring some of the stress of home with them (or an actual illness). They are technically at work, but they aren’t engaged with their jobs, and as a result, their productivity suffers. In fact, according to a survey by the Australian Institute of Management, presenteeism is four times more costly than absenteeism (when employees are absent from work).

Ways to Reduce Stress

Virtual office workers can help you and your employees destress before, during, and after the holiday season. Although virtual offices are not a remedy for workplace holiday stress, virtual offices workers can certainly reduce stress. Hiring a Virtual Receptionist helps stressed-out employees who may be trying to finish projects before the end of the year.

Alternately, you can allow certain employees to work remotely or telecommute from a virtual office. They also save on gas money, which could help ease the tension of holiday gift spending for some portion of your workforce. Ultimately, when you help your employees de-stress (especially during the holidays), it’s good for productivity—which is good for the bottom line.  


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