How to Manage Holiday Stress in Your Business: A Practical Guide

How to Manage Holiday Stress in Your Business

For many businesses, the festive season turns out to be anything but merry. Unfortunately, holiday stress statistics show that 54% of employees feel stressed leading up to the holidays. And the increased workload the Christmas season creates tops the causes of that stress.

Understanding these factors can help businesses to better support their employees during the holiday season, fostering a more positive and productive work environment.

One of the tips we give in this post for cutting down on holiday stress is planning your Christmas party early and getting it out of the way. Conversely, here are 5 tips from HR360Inc to help make that happen:

Top Reasons for Workplace Holiday Stress

The holiday season, while filled with joy and celebration, can often lead to increased stress in the workplace. The pressure to meet year-end goals, along with personal commitments, can create a challenging environment for both employees and management. Here are some of the top reasons why holiday stress tends to escalate in a business setting:

  • Year-End Deadlines: Many businesses have fiscal year-end goals and deadlines that coincide with the holiday season, creating pressure on employees to perform.
  • Increased Workload: Preparing for time off, handling extra customer demands, and year-end tasks can lead to a significant increase in workload.
  • Balancing Personal and Professional Life: Employees may struggle to juggle holiday planning, family commitments, and work responsibilities, leading to emotional stress.
  • Limited Staffing: With many employees taking time off, those remaining may feel overwhelmed by the increased responsibilities.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: High expectations for holiday sales or performance, without proper support or resources, can cause tension and anxiety.
  • Lack of Planning: Poor planning for the holiday season can result in last-minute scrambling, causing unnecessary stress and chaos.

Woman among Christmas gifts showing holiday stress by massaging her temples

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In other words, ’tis the season to be stressed. The good news is you can adopt these tips below that will help you and your team manage the stress of the holiday season.

Tips for Managing Holiday Stress in Your Business

Bring in Extra Help During the Festive Season

holiday stress alleviated by bringing in this extra staff shown

Read this list of tips and tactics. They help reduce holiday stress in your business. And keep stress low for your team as well.

With permanent employees booking time off at the same time the company experiences a surge in business, it’s hardly surprising many business owners and employees suffer ‘festive fatigue’ at this time of year.

One effective way of managing holiday stress is to hire extra helping hands at Christmas.

Help Alleviate Holiday Stress with a Christmas Party

holiday stress can be offset with a holiday party like the one shown

There’s nothing quite like letting our hair down with colleagues at the end of the year than having a Christmas party. Moreover, this much-loved annual event has a multitude of stress management benefits, including giving employees the chance to mingle, giving them something to celebrate and making them feel valued and that they’ve helped achieve something worthwhile.

Get the Christmas Party Planning Done Early

Despite the many benefits of Christmas office parties, organizing the festive social gathering is not without its stresses. As such, eliminate this additional festive stress by ensuring the social engagements have been planned and ‘ticked off’ well before the bedlam of the festive season kicks in.

Organizing your office Christmas party well in advance is crucial to avoid last-minute hassles and stress. An early start ensures better venue choices, more efficient budget management, and ample time for employees to RSVP. Here’s how to get ahead:

  • Set a Date Early: Choose a date for your Christmas party as soon as possible. Consider polling employees to find a date that works for most.
  • Venue and Catering: Book your venue and caterers early to avoid limited options and increased prices.
  • Entertainment: Plan for entertainment, whether it’s a DJ, live band, or fun activities. Early booking often means more choices and potentially better rates.
  • Invitations: Send out invitations well in advance. Digital invitations can save time and allow for easy tracking of RSVPs.
  • Theme and Decorations: Decide on a theme and plan decorations accordingly. This can make the event more engaging and enjoyable for everyone.
  • Feedback from Previous Years: Use feedback from previous parties to improve this year’s event. What worked well? What could be improved?

Get Christmas Gift Sending to Colleagues and Clients Out of the Way

Lessen holiday stress by getting christmas gift-giving out of the way (secret santa gift pictured here)

Experiencing festive burnout by having too many things to do in a short space of time is one of the holiday stress facts no small business can afford to ignore.

Similar to arranging the Christmas party well in advance, festive gifts should be sent to colleagues, customers, clients, partners and suppliers early, so it’s one less job to worry about during the busy festive period.

Pre-Plan Your Marketing Campaign

Christmas offers fantastic marketing opportunities, particularly for businesses operating in the retail, catering, leisure and food and drinks industries.

Another good stress management strategy to help reduce holiday stress caused by running marketing campaigns during this hectic time of year is to pre-plan a marketing campaign.

For example, get blogs and social media posts written and scheduled well in advance so you’re not having to use valuable employee time on such time-consuming activities.

Avoid Agreeing to Meetings

meeting causing holiday stress

Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69% of people feel stressed due to having a “lack of time in the holiday period.”

Even the most pedantic of clients won’t want to have a meeting scheduled on Christmas Eve. With a million and one things going on, the busy holiday season isn’t the time to schedule a month of back-to-back meetings.

Most meetings with clients and colleagues will be able to wait until the New Year, so don’t make the season busier than it needs to be.

Streamline Business Operations

streamline business operations (flowcharting shown)

Another key way of managing holiday stress is to streamline business operations throughout the month of December.

Streamlining activities, such as turning inventory alerts on to notify you when certain stock is running low, is an effective stress management strategy that will help the festive season run smoothly and prevent stress overload from kicking in.

Tackle Festive Money Worries by Generating Additional Cash at Christmas

Check out another leading holiday stress fact: The festive season creates worry about money.

Read this survey carried out by the investment firm Principal Financial Group. It found that 53% of people feel financially stressed at Christmas.

This table organizes the essential details of each tip, providing a clear and concise reference for managing holiday stress in your business.

Tips for Managing Holiday StressDescription
Bring in Extra HelpHire additional staff during the busy season to manage increased workload and prevent employee fatigue.
Christmas PartyOrganize a Christmas party to celebrate achievements, foster camaraderie, and make employees feel valued.
Plan the Party EarlyGet the Christmas party planning done well in advance to avoid additional stress as the holiday season approaches.
Send Gifts EarlySend festive gifts to colleagues and clients early, so it's one less task during the busy festive period.
Pre-Plan Marketing CampaignPrepare and schedule marketing materials in advance to save time and reduce stress during the holiday season.
Avoid MeetingsMinimize or postpone non-essential meetings during the holiday season to free up time and reduce pressure.
Streamline OperationsImplement efficient practices, like inventory alerts, to ensure smooth operations and prevent stress overload.
Generate Additional CashAddress financial concerns by exploring ways to generate extra revenue during the festive season.

Managing Holiday Stress

While the core strategies for managing holiday stress are crucial, there are a few more areas to explore that can further enhance employee well-being during the festive season. Here’s some more insights and practical actions to create a more supportive and enjoyable work environment during the holidays.

  • Stress Management Workshops: Organize workshops focusing on stress management techniques. Topics can include mindfulness, time management, and relaxation exercises. These sessions can be led by professionals and offer employees tools to manage stress effectively.
  • Employee Well-being Programs: Implement well-being programs that focus on mental and physical health. Activities like yoga classes, health screenings, and wellness challenges can promote a healthier lifestyle and reduce stress.
  • Effective Communication During the Holidays: Encourage open and supportive communication within the team. Regular check-ins, open forums for discussing challenges, and empathetic leadership can help in identifying stressors and addressing them promptly.
  • Balancing Workload and Time Off: Develop a fair system for managing workload and time-off requests. Use scheduling tools to ensure equitable distribution of work and allow employees time to recharge.
  • Financial Stress Management: Provide resources or workshops on financial planning, especially relevant during the holiday season. Offering flexible pay options or financial counseling can be beneficial for employees facing financial stress.
  • Post-Holiday Debrief and Feedback: After the holidays, hold a team meeting to discuss what went well and what could be improved. This feedback session can provide valuable insights for planning future holiday seasons and reducing stress.


So, do you worry about the financial impact Christmas has on your business? If so, aim to generate an additional cash flow by implementing strategies like festive sales. Other options include 2-for-1 offers. Also, you can try introducing a special new festive product.

However, don’t wait for Christmas to put these strategies in place. Implement them well in advance. Then, you won’t juggle too many tasks and suffer from festive burnout in the process.



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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

One Reaction
  1. You need to project what will happen and prepare for it. Hiring extra help may be a good solution if you are expecting an influx of people.

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