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More employees plan to take holidays off

Businesses are finding it challenging to keep workers focused and productive during the holiday season, influencing many companies to turn to sales incentives to maintain motivation.

Businesses are finding it challenging to keep workers focused and productive during the holiday season, influencing many companies to turn to sales incentives to maintain motivation.

According to a recent poll from the Workforce Institute, the proportion of staff members planning to take Christmas Eve and/or New Year's Eve off is increasing. This year, 26 percent plan to make these days part of their holiday, compared to 18 percent in 2007.

The jump in holiday time could be a result of a number of factors, including a lack of other incentives or firms offering more time off to reward workers for persevering through the tough economic scene.

"Once we evaluated the cost-benefit picture, it was an easy decision to close our offices for the week," said Ruth Bramson, chief executive of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and a member of the Workforce Institute's board of advisors. "Employees really appreciate having the time off to spend with loved ones. It is particularly helpful for folks who travel to visit families."

Flexible working arrangements can also facilitate employees' holiday schedules by allowing them to work on-the-go or at home.

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