As we just celebrated the 4th of July, instead of honoring the mark of this nation’s freedom, there is more talk about the holiday falling on a Wednesday. This is the time families travel miles to spend the weekend together and enjoy fireworks and cookouts. Employees see this as an opportunity for a potential long weekend. Tuesday becomes the new Friday and they become less productive and more unfocused. Employers on the other hand cannot afford to lose such a critical day in the week.

Industries, particularly involved in manufacturing, find it very difficult to completely shut down for only one day and then try to resume at full operation the next day. Businesses abroad that work or compete with local companies have a hard time adjusting to another nation’s Independence Day. However, forcing employees to stay and work could lead to negative consequences. All in all, “a holiday that falls midweek often costs much more than just one day of work.”

So what can be done to make these holidays more productive? Karen L. Cates, lecturer of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, gives insight about how “to maintain productivity even when many employees are mentally or physically checked out.”  Ideas include holding meetings for those employees that are in the office, testing new strategic plans, and creating a competition between teams or offices to see who can reorganize the most, recycle the most, or clear out the most trash. Companies can take advantage of this time by seeing how well an employee works at different hours of the day or  what their productivity level is when working from home. It’s important to communicate so that employers and employees are on the same page and to plan ahead; this way businesses and employees can both enjoy the holidays stress-free.

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