Ninety percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. It's an important day for most of your employees. More important, it's a big day for most of your clients, too. Almost one-third of Americans traveled at least 50 miles between December 23rd and January 1st last year.

In other words, the office is not where your employees or your clients want to be. If you have an office-based business, it's time to consider shutting down between Christmas and New Year's Day--with pay. (If you can't afford to offer it as extra paid days off, your employees will resent having to take a pay cut at Christmas more than they will appreciate the time off.) Here's why:

Your employees don't want to be there anyway. 

While some enjoy working when it's quiet, or prefer to get out of the house when the kids are home from school, many would prefer to be at home, or at Grandma's house. Or at the beach. Basically, anywhere but the office.

This may be true for the 10 percent of people who don't celebrate Christmas as well. The kids are still out of school, so if you want to travel in the winter, this is the only time to do it if you want to avoid the school flipping out on you for pulling your kids out.

Your clients don't want to do any work either.

Set up a big meeting? Nope. Not going to happen. No one wants to be there. And even when businesses don't shut down, many, many people take the time off anyway. There's no one around.

So, while you may be able to put your head down and get some quality work done, there's no one to sign off on things, and if you're messaging and emailing clients, they are answering while on vacation. Not exactly the best way to endear you to them.

No more fights about time off.

People want to take this time off, and it's always a balancing act when you try to figure out who gets the first choice of these coveted days off. When you just make it everybody, there's no conflict. Whew! One more problem off your plate.

It's a great benefit.

As long as it's paid time off, and you don't skimp on the rest of your PTO plan, it's a great benefit. If it's unpaid, or you only offer this week off plus five more days, then it's a huge burden for your employees. But, done as part of a good benefits plan, it will be something that your employees will look forward to. It also relieves a lot of stress. For families with school-aged children, they have to take time off anyway (or cobble together sitters), and this can be a huge stress relief. 

Consider shutting your business down in this week and save yourself and your employees a ton of stress. 

Published on: Dec 19, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.