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Survey Finds Americans Working ’9 to 5′ During the Holidays

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1224homespunweb.jpgRISMEDIA, Dec. 24, 2007-If Perry Como was recording “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” today, he might have to expand the lyrics to include, “I’ll Be Home the Day Before Christmas.” According to a survey by The Regus Group, nearly half (49%) of all Americans will be out of the office on December 24 this year. 

Even with many offices sitting half-empty, the majority of employees who will work on Christmas Eve plan to work from their corporate office (79%).

Many Americans Spending the Holidays At Work, Not Home

Percentage of Americans working on:
– December 24 (51%)
– December 26 (72%)
– December 27 (87%)
– December 28 (87%)
– December 31 (67%)
– January 1 (21%)

However, Americans who will be at the office during the holidays may not actually get work done. When asked which movie best describes their attitude toward working over the Christmas holiday period, survey respondents selected:

– “9 to 5″ (31%)
– “The Secret of My Success” (17%)
– “Slackers” (8%)
– “Groundhog Day” (8%)
– “Gone in 60 Seconds” (5%)

The Regus Holiday Work Habits survey highlights how even in the Internet age many employees, and their employers, still have Stone Age work practices, expecting employees to be productive in just one place – the office. In addition to a lack of productivity on this pre-holiday day, there is a cost to the environment with heating, lighting and power for offices operating with a skeleton staff. Flexible working benefits the environment by lowering the amount of carbon emissions created by commuting.

According to recent research by Durham University and JBA in the UK, companies could reduce their carbon emissions by around 5% by simply closing the office for one day per week and enabling staff to work flexibly.

“With the availability of cost-effective and flexible workplace options, such as fully furnished and equipped offices and state-of-the-art videoconferencing capabilities, companies can help themselves and the environment, by allowing employees to work from where they can be most productive,” said Tom Chevins, senior vice president of sales and marketing for The Regus Group.

Still, back-to-the-office will come quickly after Christmas for most Americans, with nearly three-fourths (72%) saying they’ll be back at work on December 26. An unlucky few — one out of five (21%) – say they’ll be working on New Year’s Day. While in the office during the holidays, here’s what American workers say they’ll be doing:

– Working as hard as possible (48%)
– Catching up on neglected tasks, like filing (41%)
– Coming in late and/or leaving early (14%)
– Arranging next year’s work calendar (12%)
– Shopping online (11%)

Some Americans like using the holiday period to prepare for another busy year, as nearly two out five (38%) say they enjoy getting caught up at work during the holidays. Not having someone looking over your shoulder may be another perk, as nearly 20% said they enjoy feeling less pressure without the boss around.

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