8 Ways a Human Business Takes a Holiday

Rosemary O’Neill

Working All the Time?

Last week, I was out to dinner with my 7 year old daughter, and while we were eating, I got a ping from a customer that I needed to answer. I pulled out my iPhone and told her, “I just need to do this one thing and then I promise I’ll put it away.” She looked at me, cocked her head, and said, “so Mommy, you’re pretty much working all the time, then, right?” (Cue video of knight being shot with 20 arrows through the heart.)

Whoah. That knocked me back on my heels a bit.

Days later, her question is still pinging through my brain.

8 Ways a Human Business Takes a Holiday

I spend a lot of time writing and talking about the human-centered business, really trying to promote the idea that customers should be spoken to like humans, and employees should be treated with respect.

But there’s another human inside the equation. You are a human too. So am I.

And humans need sleep, daydreaming, play, quiet, contemplation, singing, and time to enjoy their fellow humans (both small and grownup).

If you’ve decided to run your small business with humans at the heart of it, here are some things to think about:

  1. Have you declared any “office shutdown” days over the holidays?
  2. Can you hold any necessary meetings by Skype of Google Hangout instead of going in to the office?
  3. How about flexible time during the week to allow for shopping or ice skating, as long as the work is getting done?
  4. Don’t forget the folks who make your office life bearable—how about some cookies for your FedEx person, or a video message for your favorite vendors?
  5. Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, take some time to be frivolous. Wear reindeer slippers under your desk, give someone a surprise day off, go caroling in your office building, hide chocolate coins in desk drawers.
  6. Consider stockpiling some content this week so that you don’t even have to stress out about blog posts going up over the holidays, or invite some guest posters.
  7. If you’re the boss, try not to schedule time-sensitive tasks during this time.
  8. Use the holiday downtime to recharge, and be ready to tackle the beginning of 2013 with gusto!

Next time I go out to eat with my daughter, the iPhone stays off.

And here’s a virtual cup of egg nog, from me to you.

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Thank you, Rosemary!

You’re irresistible!

ME “Liz” Strauss


  1. says

    Love what you say in your “working all the time” blog. People have a way of putting their needs last (especially women) so it’s refreshing to see your point of view and tips to help people remember the importance or recharging!

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