There is a lot to love about December in Australia – but as managers, employers and business owners, it can be a challenging month. Workload is increasing, leave requests are flooding in and motivation is diminishing by the day. How can we maintain productivity at this tricky time of year?
Doing more with less
The poor availability of staff during December – both internally and across the supply chain – can have a negative impact on productivity and the ability to deliver on time. To manage resourcing issues some employers opt for complete business shutdowns over Christmas. Others stagger holiday requests throughout December and early into January.
Other ways to relieve pressure on busy teams include redistributing work to other available staff, reprioritising individual workloads to lighten the load, and recruiting temporary staff to fill the holiday void.
Partnering with suppliers and other businesses with good availability – that can provide support all year round – can also help to maintain productivity during December and other busy months.
Maintaining motivation
Business can be busy in the lead up to Christmas as customers race to place final orders and projects push to get ahead of schedule. This surge in activity can create additional pressure at a time when staff levels are already low and remaining employees are stretched thin.
As the saying goes: “families that play together, stay together”. Perhaps the same is true of workplaces? Do we work better, achieve more and feel more motivated when we all get along?
Celebrating small achievements helps to keep our employees motivated. Fun and inclusive end of year celebrations bring our teams together to have fun, unwind and relieve some end of year stress. And we enjoy applauding the efforts of teams and individuals and acknowledging positive performances throughout the year.
Healthy, productive workplaces

Many factors – like end of year fatigue, Christmas festivities and the warmer weather – can affect the general health and wellbeing of Australian workplaces in December. These factors can increase the risk of safety incidents and lost time through injury, and put even greater pressure on staff and resourcing.
The benefits of creating healthy and active workplaces extend far beyond the obvious physical health benefits to staff. A proactive approach to general wellness helps keep workplaces healthy and safe, and improves productivity too.
Finding ways to get people moving during the day is proven to boost energy levels and send more oxygen to the brain. Facilitating light exercise – either at lunchtime, or in bursts throughout the day – is an effective way to help people recharge their bodies and brains.
Our cognitive function (how we learn, remember, concentrate and problem solve) declines gradually throughout the day and diminishes during periods of stress and mental fatigue. By encouraging staff to take frequent mental breaks workplaces can further boost mental capacity and improve overall productivity.
How do you stay productive during December? What other challenges do you face at this time of year? Please share your thoughts with us on Linkedin.
Alternatively, please contact a member of the Coates Hire team by calling 13 15 52 or by submitting an enquiry form below.

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