Office Wars: Tis the Season to Be Spiteful
Holiday season, that is. Our research has revealed that far from being a time of relaxation, peak holiday periods create tension and turn the office into a war zone.
With the average UK worker getting just thirty-three paid holiday days per year, itΓÇÖs no wonder that we guard our time off so preciously.
But our recent survey has revealed just how far office workers will go to get the days off they want ΓÇô resorting to covert tactics to secure those coveted summer holidays. In fact, 13% keep quiet about holiday plans for fear that others will book the days they want.
TheyΓÇÖre perhaps not as paranoid though as a further 7%, who actually lie about plans for time off in order to throw colleagues off the scent.
Most surprising of all is the five per cent of workers who waste their holiday entitlement by using it to block colleagues from taking the days they want.
And while that might sound counterintuitive ΓÇô and a case of punishing themselves in order to get at others ΓÇô if you work in an office with twenty or more people, chances are youΓÇÖll find at least one of these holiday spoilsports in your midst.
Is there a solution?
A workplace at war is no good to anyone. Nor are stressed out employees who repeatedly miss out on their chosen holiday dates.
A first-come-first-served policy is the safest way to be fair to all employees, saving bosses the responsibility of deciding whose plans are most worthy and which workers are most deserving of their chosen days off.
But can you do anything more to stop the spite? Where two employees in the same department request the same holiday, you could consider offering more flexible working options for the worker whose request you have to turn down.
Whether itΓÇÖs offering them condensed hours, flexi-time or even homeworking, a more flexible schedule might be a way to give them some extra time off, while still completing all their work.
It might not be quite the same as a week on the beach but it might go some way to soothing some of that bitterness, and it might make the spiters think twice next year.
After all, wouldnΓÇÖt it be nice if all this strategic thinking was going into the job instead?
Do you struggle to get the holiday time you need? Have you ever booked time off to spite a colleague? Share your stories in the comments.