SURVEY SAYS – What's Your Thanksgiving Day Break?

November 5, 2009 ( - It's still several weeks but this week, I asked readers if their office would be open on the day after Thanksgiving - and if they would be there.

Well, if you’re closed the day after – you won’t be alone.   On the other hand, our results were decidedly different from the BNA survey (see  Employers Say Yes to Holiday Time Off, No to Gifts ).

But, whether or not their workplace was closed, nearly three-fourths ( 73.5% ) of this week’s respondents don’t plan to be working on “Black Friday.”  

Just over 17% said they would be, though 1.7% said they would be “in”, but not really working.   Nearly one-in-eight said they weren’t sure.

As one reader noted, “Not only will I NOT be working on Black Friday, I will be spending it near a big city (a 14 hr drive from home) with my extended family. I plan on being up much earlier than the crack-of-dawn and headed into Duluth, MN for the BEST shopping day of the year, gallons of coffee in tow. :)”

Of course, the major determinant for most is whether or not you're expected to be at work - and over half ( 55.9% ) of this week's respondents said they would be closed that day, up slightly from the 52% that said so a year ago (see " SURVEY SAYS: Are You Open on "Black Friday? ") - but well short of the nearly eight-in-ten that were planning to in the BNA survey.

That means that just over one-in-three ( 36.4% ) said that their workplace would be open, while about 2% either didn't know, or noted that the decision hadn't yet been made.   The remaining 5% described situations that involved most, but not all workers being off, though the workplace was, at least technically, open.

A number of readers were kind enough to share some perspectives:

"As a state government, we also will be closed on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving as a "salary reduction day". I doubt much work will be done on the Monday and Tuesday preceding - it will be a lost week."

"First time with a paid Friday after Thanksgiving. After working for almost 20 years in 24/7/365 environment, where companies stay open as to not pay OT for those who must work, I'm quite happy with the paid day off. ALL benefits people need a 4-day weekend this time of year!!"

There clearly have been some shifts:

"Management recently notified us of their "gift" of a four-day weekend by deciding that our corporate office will be closed the day after Thanksgiving (since Management believes that we all need to spend more time with family and friends due to stress at work - layoffs, increased work loads, covering for co-workers who are home with the H1N1 virus, etc.). In the past, we have always needed to have at least a skeleton staff working on the day after Thanksgiving . Our "gift" from management for being closed the day after Thanksgiving is that we need to use PTO to receive pay for the day, or receive no pay if we don't have enough hours in our PTO bucket!!"

"Our company used to provide 1 day off for Thanksgiving, and 2 days off at Christmas. Last year, they announced that they were adding Martin Luther King Day as a corporate holiday. But lo and behold, they did this by taking away one of our Christmas days. I'm not sure how this was any sort of improvement."

"A couple of years ago my company decided we needed to be open on the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve so those two holidays were replaced with floating holidays. So I take my two floating holidays on the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve."

Another reader said, "Of course I'll be working. T'is the season for shoppers, hunting season for hunters and open enrollment season for benefit managers. Though I will be bringing a turkey sandwich with me."

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said, "I haven't decided if I'm working or not; it depends on how my 3 kids are behaving. I may need to go to work just to escape."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!