Sorry, Our Office is Closed
In a recent poll of small-business CEOs, Inc. asked, "On what holidays, other than the six traditional ones, do you close your office?" The answer, as listed below: not all are generous with the extras. But, the survey showed, there's more than just holidays for CEOs to contend with.* * *
Yes No Half Day
Christmas Eve 38.8% 22.8% 33.5%
New Year's Eve 20.9 48.5 26.7
M.L. King, Jr. Day 3.4 89.9
President's Day 35.9 61.7
Columbus Day 4.4 93.2
Veterans Day 6.8 89.3
Election Day 0.5 98.5
Friday after Thanksgiving 72.3 20.4* * *
Come August, commerce in many countries closes down and takes to the beach en masse. Not so here. An Inc. poll of the vacation policies of U.S. small businesses reveals that a mere 5.8% declare companywide hiatuses. If anything, the trend on these shores is toward trendlessness. In addition to regular vacations, some CEOs throw in "floating," "personal," or "discretionary" days, to be used at an employees option. And a substantial number -- 18% of respondents -- also give an employee his or her birthday off. (One CEO declares his own birthday an annual holiday.) The most liberal policy is for illness, with 69.4% offering five or more paid sick days.
Because many employees tacitly take the odd day anyway, 26.7% of the CEOs surveyed close the office on Fridays that follow Thursday holidays, and Mondays that precede Tuesday holidays; another 14.1% don't, but they admit they tolerate absence. More than half (54.4%) do not grant religious holidays such as Good Friday or Passover.
CEOs are split on the amount of vacation a new employee merits: 44.2% say one week; 48.5% say two. Employees who have completed five years still get just two weeks from 31.6% of the CEOs -- but three weeks form 56.8%, and four or more from 7.3%. And 10 year employees get four weeks or more from 35% of the polled companies. As for the putatively hardworking CEOs, last year 20.9% awarded themselves at least 4 weeks. -- Robert A. Mamis* * *
Source: Survey of 206 companies, 72% with sales of $20 million or less, by Inc. and The Executive Committee, San Diego, 1992.