December Holidays Create "Ghost-Town" Offices

December 13, 2007 ( - A new survey conducted online by Harris Interactive and sponsored by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated found more than half of all full-time employees surveyed plan to take time off in December - a month filled with several major holidays including Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.

According to a press release on the survey results, this year in particular, with both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve falling on Mondays, many will have long weekends from both. Sixty-three percent of employed full-time survey respondents plan to take the day off on Christmas Eve, with 49% having the day off as a holiday, while 53% are planning to take the day off on New Year’s Eve, with 36% having the day off as a holiday.

With such high levels of planned absenteeism, some employers have decided to give employees the week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Eighteen percent of survey respondents work for employers who will be closed during the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Regardless of whether or not their places of work close down, 32% of respondents said they typically take this week off, the release said.

Among those whose employers offer paid time off, 27% are not allowed to carry over any paid time off from one year to the next. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they typically take time off in December to use their allotted days off before year’s end.

Among full-time employed adults surveyed, only 20% said they use an automated system or software to submit time-off requests, meaning that the vast majority are submitting their requests for time off verbally or in writing.

The survey was conducted November 29 and December 3, 2007, among 2,949 U.S. adults aged 18 and over 972 of whom were employed full-time.

A recent survey of PLANSPONSOR NewsDash readers found 55% of those responding worked in offices that would be closed on Christmas Eve (See SURVEY SAYS: Will You Be Open Christmas Eve? ).