Minus the weekends, holidays, and two weeks for vacation, most people work about 240 days a year. But each year someone has to work on New Year’s Eve, which is a terrible time to have to work. Let’s be honest: if you work on Thanksgiving or Christmas, a small part of you may welcome a little break from the family. December 31st, however, is the last working day of the year and quite possibly the worst day to be at work because you’re thinking about all of the parties and fun you’re missing out on.

We have a lot of nationally recognized holidays in America and some “unofficial” holidays, like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and NFL Super Bowl, both of which cost the U.S. economy billions in lost productivity. The difference is that we pretend to work during those events and we don’t for New Year’s Eve since most businesses are closed. But for millions of public servants, police and fire department personnel, city workers (Someone has to clean up all that confetti!), security specialists, entertainers, bartenders, servers, and others – it’s business as usual.

Although many people receive extra pay for working on holidays like New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t usually make up for the extra effort they’re putting in. So as we approach the last working day of the year, I want to offer some suggestions to make it a bit more tolerable for your employees.

Keep it safe.

Sometimes when we’re creating holiday schedules we forget to provide full coverage and security because we are so busy trying to accommodate everyone’s time-off requests. First, ask for volunteers, and see who wants to work on that day – you may be surprised. Next, try to schedule shorter shifts if possible. Finally, be sure to have both men and women on duty, for safety and fairness. Speaking of safety, there should be holiday operating procedures in place. For instance, you should have some guidelines to make sure that everyone is accountable for one another and understands what to do in case of an emergency. Don’t skimp on your security staff just because it’s a holiday – crime doesn’t take the day off and neither should safety.

Cater to them.

Although you’ve just had the Thanksgiving potluck and the Christmas party, and you probably bought food all week long for the team, if you have people working on New Year’s Eve, you really should feed them. A great way to ease the pain of working on the last day of the year is with food. Since BBQ is a New Year’s tradition in this country, have something catered by your local barbeque joint.

Pop some bottles.

Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a glass of bubbly. Most companies have a policy against drinking on the job, so it’s a good thing there are a variety of non-alcoholic beverages available on the market today. If you don’t like non-alcoholic drinks, then try some sparkling ciders or fruit juices – you can get the fuzz without the buzz.

Surprise them.

If you really want to make a lasting impression and make employees feel appreciated, do this: stop by and thank them for working. I once worked for a director who stopped by the call center to thank everyone on New Year’s Eve, and we appreciated it very much. He served us lunch (see above), he had a drink with us (see above), and he surprised us! Talk about making a lasting impression. The positive vibes you’ll generate will last well into the new year. Cheers!

Adina Miron

6 Comments

  • Avatar Sally Mann says:

    There are some very interesting suggestions in this article, and it would be good if every company director would receive a copy of it! Maybe in this way the employees would feel somehow rewarded for the fact that they have to work on the last day of the year. It would be very nice if bosses would not go on vacation before coming into work and speaking with the employees on the last day of the year.

  • Avatar Sarah Cuts says:

    From my own experience, I can tell you that the last workday of the year, New Year’s Eve, is very interesting, for there is a special atmosphere! Everyone is thinking of the New Year. Each person is already excited about the night to come, knowing that he or she will meet with friends or family and spend wonderful moments with them. Even if it seems like a chore for some people, do not forget to be grateful that you have a job! Here’s to a better New Year!

  • Avatar Alan says:

    I think that one of the hardest jobs for a team leader or a department head is to make the work schedule for the last day of the year. In companies where everyone only works one shift, it is easier. They are all in the same boat. In this situation, everyone will act as a team. They will celebrate New Year’s Eve discreetly and make their wishes for the New Year.

  • Avatar Angela S. says:

    I really liked your article, especially because you thought about the categories of employees that are working under continuous fire, so to speak. I am a nurse and obviously I will work on holidays, because inevitably each of us works on at least one of the holidays. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Easter. We must be on duty. But I like to be able to help others. So I’ll stay with my family in my leisure time after the shift, and maybe I’ll appreciate the time with them even more.

  • Avatar Tom K. Lee says:

    What you said in this article is more than desirable. But how many business owners will consider these suggestions? How many of them will do these things for their employees? It would be nice and fair for the bosses to stay alongside their employees on this day, but this does not always happen. Each year, people work during the holidays because there are many services that operate 24/7, such as hospitals, fire departments, bread factories, etc., so that we can all be more comfortable! I think that we all should thank them and send them a good thought on all holidays, not only on the New Year. Thank you! A better year for you all!

  • Avatar Irene Hynes says:

    Hi Eric,

    Gratitude for putting up this prolific article! You truly make everything a cake walk. Genuinely good stuff, saving time and energy.

    On which topic you are looking for in HRMS? There are lots of topics in HRMS Like Payroll, Employee creation or updation, element entries absence so on. There are lots of documents under Documents Section in our Club-Oracle Site itself. You can browse the documents

    “asha24.com/blog/introduction-to-workday-studio”

    under HRMS Section
    in Documents Area.

    Very useful article, if I run into challenges along the way, I will share them here.

    Thanks,
    Irene Hynes.

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