With Q4 coming rapidly to a close and the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about holiday time off. Don’t let the stress get you down, though!

Glassdoor put together a great list of 7 ways to manage employee time off without the last-minute hassle.

  • “Plan in advance.” There is no reason your business can’t plan the holiday schedule far in advance. No matter the industry you work in, you can plan ahead. It’s as simple as giving your team plenty of notice of when they are expected in office and when they need to request time off.
  • “First come, first served.” With that being said, it’s natural for your employees to want some time off. When requests start coming in (hopefully far in advance), you can approve them on a first come, first served basis. Someone has to hold down the fort and the last person to request time off, usually ends up with that honor.
  • “Stagger the schedule.” No need to worry about closing early or a reduced staff. You can stagger the schedule so people can still enjoy their holiday time. The idea behind this time of staggered schedule is to make sure you always have coverage, but your team still gets some much needed time off.
  • “Keep a pool of part-timers.” Depending on the type of industry you work in, you can keep a pool of part time employees on retainer. This way, you can always have people to help staff the season. You should make sure to stay in touch with these part time people so that they don’t book out before you’ve had a chance to bring them on. Post a listing a few months in advance to ensure you have adequate options.
  • “Offer a holiday pay differential.” We all know that an incentive can go a long way when it comes to working over the holiday. Offering a special holiday overtime bonus will definitely incentivize people working and fully staffing your office. This should be something built into the business structure and not just a quick pay out to keep people in the office.
  • “Institute a vacation blackout period.” If needed, you can always institute a vacation blackout period. It’s kind of like the blackout days at an amusement park. These are the busiest days of the year, so you would be expected to come in. This mostly happens in retail on days like Black Friday for example. If an employee wants to take one of these black out days off, they would need to request it very far in advance and receive special permission from their manager to do so.
  • “Let employees work at home.” At the end of the day, people just want to be with their friends and families during the holiday season. If the work you do can be remote, let your teams work from home. You can have a work remote grace period in between Christmas and New Years. Most likely, things will be quieter anyway, so you might as well let your team thrive in their own environments. Letting your team work from home can go a long way in keeping them happy and productive contributors.

So, what do you think? Are you ready for the holidays?