This is hectic time of the year for all organizations, regardless of size. With everything going on, organizationally and personally, working productively  during the holidays can be tough. As an employee, it is more difficult to count that your employer and coworkers are truly there for you. And if you are in charge of a project team or division, organizing people may feel like ascending a mountain with little oxygen. However, the difficulties should not paralyze the project managers; rather, they should alert you to unforeseen challenges and encourage you in prioritizing what must be addressed first. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most significant obstacles associated with working over the holidays and how to overcome them.

Different assumptions are held by team members

The fact that Christmas and other holidays are times for close family, friends, and loved ones is one of the greatest obstacles from the perspective of work. People are typically more social during these times. This can make it difficult for team members to concentrate on the current project without feeling constantly interrupted by other tasks and obligations. In addition, there is a moment when employees and managers have differing expectations regarding the work environment. Some employees may choose to work in silence, but others may want to converse or discuss personal details. During the holiday season, you must reach an understanding and agreement with your team members so everyone has the right expectations to manage their workloads and produce excellent work.

Limited time for meetings and work

During the holidays, there is restricted time for meetings and work sessions. This can cause some people to feel overworked because they are expected to work longer hours than usual. To overcome this, you may give tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities to each member of your team so that everyone is aware of what is expected of them. It is important to close the communication gap – receiving confirming of understanding. The advantage of doing so is that individuals are aware of their own priorities and may prioritize accordingly. If you have an employee who enjoys working on holiday projects but is unable to come in to work on Christmas Day due to family obligations, it may be ideal for them to work from home rather than attempting to do both.

Limited communication routes

One of the most common difficulties that arise over the holidays is a lack of communication outlets. The noise level over the Christmas season might make it harder to convey your message, leading to missed deadlines and misunderstandings. To overcome this obstacle, you can employ a variety of strategies to ensure that you reach your team members or clients. If your team is geographically distributed, you may want to give them a daily email update with a summary of what they should be working on while they’re away. It’s also important that while there are many holidays during the next month, not all cultures have holidays and on the same dates. If they are all in their respective offices, you may utilize video conferencing software such as Skype or Google Hangouts so that everyone can see each other and share ideas in real time. Consider posting updates on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter if you’re seeking to reach clients on social media during these hectic times. This will ensure that individuals have the opportunity to view your project updates and do not miss vital information.

Unavailable employees: managers, core developers and product owners

Managers: It’s hard to tell when your boss is really available. The first step to managing the holidays is being prepared and being able to identify when your boss is really available. If you have a good relationship with your boss, they will be more open to collaborative working habits this time of year. However, if you don’t know how much time your boss has for meetings, it can make it harder to plan around them.

Core developers: What about core developers? If you are a company that relies on its internal software development team for creating new features or updates, this can be a challenge as well. There are two ways around this issue: One way would be to ensure that the team has a break during the holiday season and take over their tasks from them. Another option is that if you need updates from your core developers, you can use something like Slack or an internal chat application and make it part of the project management process so everyone understands what’s going on throughout the project.

Product owners: Product owners should expect less quality feedback Product owners might not receive clear feedback or responses during this time of year because people might not have the same drive they used to in order to deliver quality work just because it’s Christmas break. They should still get feedback through their product reviews and customer support channels but it will definitely be less frequent than usual during these four weeks because people aren’t as focused on doing their best work as

Overburdening oneself with too much work at once can be stressful. Many of us have a substantial amount of responsibilities. If you are one of these individuals, you may be feeling particularly stressed. It can feel as though there are no breaks between jobs when we have too much to do at once. This means that we have no opportunity to take care of our mental health and ourselves. In addition, the sheer volume of labor induces a looming sense of guilt and pressure, as we feel obligated to meet all deadlines and produce excellent work that exceeds everyone’s expectations. Constantly operating at full speed can have a negative effect on your productivity. To fight this, try accepting less work for as long as possible and maintaining a manageable workload during the Christmas season. Many individuals find it useful to determine the kind of things they enjoy during their free time so they can find opportunities to relax throughout the day.

Using these guidelines, managers and team members should find a method to collaborate during the Christmas season. Without proper project management, the holiday season can lead to chaos. There will be delays in projects and meetings, as well as a buildup of unproductive labor. The following suggestions will make your experience with project management more manageable:  keep in mind to set proper expectations and be proactive with communication channels – email, text, phone calls, Skype for proper communication means.


From PMO Advisory, we wish you a splendid holiday!