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Asking for Time-Off During the Holidays

We are presently in the thick of holiday season, and with the holidays comes asking for time-off. It’s nearly inevitable. With the price of travel, and the awkward times of various holidays, time-off is almost a certainty this time of year. Depending on your company culture it may be easy, or not so easy, to request time-off. So we’re bringing you tips on asking for time-off this holiday season and beyond.

The first step is to really get a feel for the company culture at your place of work. Some companies shut down the week between Christmas and New Year’s, while other keep chugging away. Some companies will allow employees to work from home during that week, but do expect work to get done. Once you get a feel for your company culture around the holidays, you can plan your time-off strategy.

Planning ahead is key in asking for time off. No boss or HR department wants to hear from you a week before the holidays that you are taking the week off and you have a non-refundable plane, train or bus ticket. This tip really applies for any vacation time you plan to take, but with the craziness of the holidays being proactive is especially important. So when taking your time-off, ask early before booking anything. There may be an event or project you are yet unaware of and booking a trip before getting permission is a recipe for headaches, and possibly a lot of extra surcharges. Which brings about another tip- consider airlines and other travel which offer you a no-fee or low-fee option for changing your schedule.

Also, remember to be cognisant of others. Many people travel for the holidays and others in your office will also be asking for time-off as well. Take into account that your superiors and HR professionals will be dealing with a number of requests and working with a short staff, so limit the number of days you request off or offer to telecommute one day. Don’t be visibly upset if your superior doesn’t grant a full request for your time-off. It’s possible there are just too many people asking. If you need to get home, offer to work from home or take your time-off during a more convenient time so you will be at the office when bodies are most needed.

Time-off during the holidays can be tough to figure out. With the expense of travel, it helps to fly often during business hours when others aren’t. And of course, everyone wants to spend the season with family and friends. Just remember to respect your fellow employees and company culture, and don’t leave others stranded this holiday season.

Safe travels!

Do you have to juggle time-off with your coworkers this holiday season or make special arrangements for travel? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Joopey

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Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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