Experts share the perks of working the holiday week instead of vacationing

If you’re part of the “skeleton crew” who has to cover and handle the workload while your coworkers are on holiday or hiatus, look at the silver lining.

Photo: SalTheColourGeek via FLickr

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is generally a slow one for in the professional world. Besides those who work in the retail, medical or hospitality industries, the week is considered a time when most office staff is on PTO.

If you’re part of the “skeleton crew” who has to cover and handle the workload while your coworkers are on holiday or hiatus, look at the silver lining.

Job experts say there are perks to working this slow week.

Embrace the holiday spirit

A gesture of kindness you can do that week is work during the holidays.

“The Number One perk of working the holiday week is that you instantly win friends among your coworkers who need someone to hold down the fort while they’re celebrating at home with their families,” says Chris Chancey, founder of Amplio Recruiting, a staffing firm in Atlanta. Offering to work for a colleague during the holidays fosters a sense of camaraderie, he says.

“Coworkers of different faiths and cultures can grow into a more tightly knit unit by sharing information about one another’s traditions. Employers can foster this by planning holiday-themed potluck lunches that take various ethnic celebrations into account,” adds Chancey.

Enjoy the quiet office

The main advantage to working during the holiday week is that it is quiet, says Graham Shorr, chief of staff at SquareFoot, a commercial real estate startup based in New York.

“Finding undisturbed focus time can be especially difficult towards the end of the year with- holidays, annual planning, budgeting, and projections, but having a week with fewer managerial or collaborative responsibilities can hugely valuable for strategic planning, building process, or getting ahead of deliverables for the new year,” says Shorr. Plus, the managers are likely off so there’s even more opportunity to enjoy a slower pace and more casual dress.

Start the new year off successfully

Lauren McGoodwin, CEO and founder of Career Contessa, creator of The Salary Project and host of the new podcast, The Femails, says working during the holiday week is a great time to focus and catch up on a project without the distractions of emails flying in, interruptions from colleagues, meetings, clients or anything else.

“It’s also a great way to start the New Year with a clean slate at work – organized and fully caught up,” she continues. “This allows you to hit the ground running and be incredibly productive in the first few weeks of the New Year versus playing catch up and having to tie up loose ends from before the holiday.”

Erica Lamberg|is a business, health, and travel writer whose work appears in Gannett, US News & World Report, Bankrate, MSN, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Reader’s Digest and NBC News