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Holiday slackers: Only 39 per cent of those working next week expected to be productive

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There are two kinds of office workers: Those who love to work at their desk in relative calm over the holidays and those who can't wait to scram after the last cookie exchange.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, regardless of perference, a majority of Americans will be working next week. Sixty-four per cent of U.S. employees will be working between Christmas and New Year's, with 56 per cent actually coming into the office.

If you work for a small firm, you're more likely to work while others play, too - 68 per cent versus 49 per cent if you work in large businesses.

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Journal writer Melissa Korn puts herself in the pro-working holiday camp. For one thing, she celebrates Hanukkah, so there are usually fewer family functions later in the month for her. But she also "craves those quiet days," despite the fact that many sources and interview subjects are not available.

"Even if I'm not able to do much work, I can still be productive. I use this time to clear through my inbox, conquer my rather messy desk and complete other tasks for which I never seem to have time. That periodic organization allows me to be more productive once work starts to pick up."

Indeed, over half of business people - 58 per cent - think that staff working over the holidays tend to use this time to catch up on unfinished tasks, the survey found.

She makes a convincing case. But if you need something more, consider the slacker angle. Many of us don't expect anyone to get much done during this time.

The survey of 12,000 employees worldwide, from an office-space company called Regus PLC, found that "just 39 per cent of U.S. respondents say they expect workers to actually do much work," reports the Journal.

So, are you among those rattling around a deserted office post-Christmas? Do revel in the low expectations or actually get work done?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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