The post-holiday productivity slump

Asleep on the job

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: So . . . it's the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring . . . what am I talking about? I'm stirring, at work. If you don't have to be in today, enjoy it. For others, this post-holiday time is just as busy as usual, if not more. Ashley Milne-Tyte takes a look at how productive U.S. workers are this time of year.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Retail workers will be busier than ever today as sale shoppers flood stores. Not to mention airline employees shuttling passengers back from family gatherings. But the late December slump is well under way in plenty of other industries.

Tom Klett is with consulting firm Watson Wyatt. He says many companies are 40 to 50 percent less productive than usual right now. For one thing, a lot of people are out. And those who are in the office aren't too motivated.

Tom Klett: You have people who say, "I'm not taking any time off!" And so what they do is they will come to work, and they leave at 1 o'clock.

Since so many managers are away, some employees sneak off to the mall to shop or return unwanted gifts. Still, Klett says companies increasingly see such holiday liberties as part of the cost of doing business.

In New York, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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