Surviving the holidays while at work
Image by Declan Cashin via Buzzfeed


Surviving the holidays while at work

Bah, humbug! You got stuck with the Christmas shift this year? We know, we’ve all been there. What makes the hospitality industry exciting – its 24/7/365 pace – can also make it quite frustrating around the holidays. As our friends and family are cuddled up by the fire, exchanging gifts, making toasts and ringing in the new year, chances are, many of us are working a shift.

Whether you work in reception, in F&B or elsewhere in the hospitality world, you will probably have to spend a holiday or two at work over the course of your career. Here’s a few tips for surviving the holidays at work without turning into Ebenezer Scrooge.

1. Look on the bright side

Go into the shift with a positive outlook, and remember that you’re not the only one working on Christmas. Doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters and emergency services workers, along with some working in media, public transportation, retail and small businesses are also working on holidays. What do we all have in common? We are making a sacrifice, and we should be proud to do it. And sometimes the sacrifice can pay off. How? You may get the chance to showcase your leadership abilities on a holiday shift, as emergencies and special situations do tend to arise on those days when staff is minimal. You’ll also be seen as a team player, as working your shift is probably allowing someone else to be with his or her family. Next holiday, it will be your turn!

2. Make it special

The first time I worked a Christmas Eve shift as a Front Desk Manager, I planned a special post-shift outing for the staff. It gave us all something to look forward to during the shift, and it boosted morale and team spirit during the day as we worked to check in arriving guests and families.

3. Bring the holiday to work

You don’t have to go out to make a holiday shift special – bring the holiday into work! That may mean doing a gift exchange, having a shift potluck or organizing games or contests to make the day as memorable as it would have been had you spent it away from work.

4. Get it done

One upside to working on a holiday is that you can get massive amounts of work done during the quiet, creeping hours. Time might move slowly on a Christmas Day double shift, but think of all of the items you’ll be able to tick off of your long to-do list! The trick is to be proactive and stay focused – go into the shift with a good attitude and a list of work to complete, and don’t let yourself get sidetracked! (But do allow yourself a bit of holiday cheer while you’re at it!)