Should You Close the Office on Black Friday?

Should You Close the Office on Black Friday? 1080 720 Jason Lauritsen

It’s Thanksgiving week. That means that we will all be asked at some point this week, “Are you working on Friday?” And the answers will be mixed.

Black Friday is one of those dates that seemingly presents a dilemma for organizations and HR departments everywhere. Should the office be open on Friday or should it be closed?

There’s a simple answer. Unless you are in an organization where you can’t be closed (hospital, police station, etc.) or black Friday is a critical day for your business (retail, restaurant, etc.), then you should be closed. I’m not talking about an optional day or a floating holiday; I’m talking closed for business. Everyone gets the day off without using a vacation day closed.

Here are a few reasons why.

  1. This issue will come up during family Thanksgiving day meals and celebrations. When your employee is the only one in the room who has to work on Friday, you look like you don’t care about your employee. At the very least, the employee is going to feel like they getting cheated.
  2. Productivity on Friday is going to be garbage anyway. If you are one of the few who has to go to work on Friday, it’s almost a sport to see how little work you can do. There’s shopping, football games, and many distractions going on that day. Asking your employees to grind out a day of work while it feels like everyone else is enjoying a fun day off is a bad idea. You get nothing except a resentful employee.
  3. There’s a huge difference between having a Thursday off and having a four-day weekend. A four-day weekend means I can travel to spend time with family. A Thursday off may mean I’m eating a frozen dinner at home alone making phone calls to talk to the people I wish I could be with (if only my company gave us the Friday off).
  4. Making me use a vacation day on Friday when so many other companies just close down feels like a slap in the face. That’s one less vacation day I have for summer vacation or a trip to Europe or to paint my house next summer. And for a day when I’m not going to be productive anyway.
  5. No one is looking to do business on Friday.  If your customers are working, they wish they were off too and they aren’t going to be looking to do anything of substance that day.
  6. Some customers might judge you poorly for not giving your employees the day off when it’s so easy to do so.

There may be a good reason for keeping the office open the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, but I can’ think of it.  Unless you have to be open for the reasons I already mentioned, doing so will put at least a small dent in employee engagement. And for what?

If you haven’t landed on the right side of this decision yet, it’s not too late. Shut it down on Friday. Your employees will love you for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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