• New Survey: Bah! Humbug! Stress and the Workplace this Season

    TORONTO - December 11, 2019


    • 1-in-10 Dread the Office Holiday Party

    • More Than 20% Say Requesting Time Off is No. 1 Stressor

    • How Employers Can Give the Gift of Seasonal Stress Relief


    It's the most wonderful time of the year-and it can also be the most stressful. While 16% of business leaders and 30% of workers say they "love the holiday season at work," the rest report a range of seasonal stressors in a new survey released today by Express Employment Professionals.

    According to Brent Pollington, an Express franchise owner in Vancouver, "There are lots of additional pressures for everyone during the holiday season. Employees are coping with a strain on their wallets, there's a rush to meet deadlines before the Christmas break and, for businesses that earn a significant amount of their annual revenue at this time of year, strong performance is critical."

    Express asked both business leaders and workers, "What stresses you out the most during the holidays?"

    Among business leaders, last minute projects was the top response:

    • 20%: Last minute projects or requests
    • 17%: Juggling employee/co-worker time off requests
    • 16%: I don't have any issues! I love the holiday season at work!
    • 12%: Taking personal time off
    • 12%: Other
    • 11%: Buying gifts for co-workers
    • 10%: The company holiday party
    • 2%: Organizing client or vendor gifts

    Workers were slightly more positive about the holiday season:

    • 30%: I don't have any issues! I love the holiday season at work!
    • 22%: Requesting time off
    • 10%: Buying gifts for coworkers
    • 9%: The company holiday party
    • 8%: Last minute projects or requests
    • 8%: Other
    • 6%: Finding seasonal work to earn extra money
    • 6%: Juggling co-worker time off requests


    12-11-2019 Holiday Stress US Graph 1-SM


    12-11-2019 Holiday Stress US Graph 2-SM


    In Edmonton, Alberta, franchise owner Jessica Culo said the biggest stressor she sees is the amount of time off people take during the holiday season.

    "Combined with unexpected sick days which also increase at this time of year, it means a lot of covering for co-workers and helping out when others are away from work," she added. "Employers can really help alleviate stress by planning ahead for periods when staff are off and where necessary, bring in temporary help. It's also important to take the time to have some fun. Aside from Christmas parties, simple things like bringing in breakfasts or potluck lunches can be great for team morale."

    Pollington also talked about the highlights of the festive period.

    "This time of year can be great for a team," he said. "The holidays give people a sense of comradery which isn't always felt at other times. Most people embrace the positives-teams get together for lunches and dinners, celebrate successes, talk about holiday plans, gifts and charitable giving.

    "If employers can help foster all that and recognize the work their staff do year-round, it benefits the business and employees."

    The holidays should be time for celebration and family, not stress and anxiety, said Express CEO Bill Stoller.

    "By identifying the typical stressors and taking a thoughtful approach, employers and employees alike can take some of the worry out of the holidays and inject a little more joy into the season," he added.


    If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Adria Minsky at
    (416) 620-7111 or email .

    About Bill Stoller
    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 7.7 million people to work worldwide.

    About Express Employment Professionals
    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.56 billion in sales and employed a record 566,000 people in 2018. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit .