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Staying Energized: 5 Tips for Working Effectively on Public Holidays 

Public holidays are traditionally considered occasions to step away from official schedules and spend quality time with our near and dear ones. That’s regardless of whether it’s a holiday specific to the Australian continent, such as Anzac Day, or a globally recognized one like Christmas Day.  

However, public holidays also present an ideal opportunity to clear the backlog in the office or tie up some loose ends with your project. In that case, certain measures must be taken to stay energized and overcome the mental sluggishness that often characterizes these occasions.  

We’ve prepared a definitive guide on charging up and achieving optimal efficiency while working on public holidays. The tips apply across the full spectrum, taking into account employers, employees, and businesspeople.  

  1. Know the Public Holidays and Plan Ahead

Nearly all nations and territories worldwide have specific days designated as public holidays. If you’re considering working on a public holiday, the first step is to understand what these days are.  

Now, public holidays in Australia fall into two distinct groups, depending on the covered geographical jurisdictions. They include national holidays and holidays sanctioned by specific states or territory governments.  

Public holidays may also vary by the nature of the event. In that regard, we have state holidays such as Anzac Day and Australia Day and religious holidays like Christmas and Good Friday.  

Once you know all the public holidays in your jurisdiction, planning becomes straightforward. Part of the planning would entail understanding the days of the week the holidays fall and how they impact the subsequent workdays. Note that some states may substitute public holidays for a different day, especially if the holiday falls on a weekend.  

  1. Understand Whether You Can Report to Work on a Public Holiday

Public holidays may offer a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of your chaotic office routine. But as already mentioned, they also provide an excellent opportunity to clear the backlog and resume the week ahead on a clean slate, so to speak.  

One way to plan for work on public holidays is to understand whether you can report to work in the first place. Ideally, this will depend on whether you’re a public or private sector player.  

Most federal offices remain closed on public holidays except those offering critical services, such as healthcare and security. National parks also remain open for obvious reasons.  

If you’re in the private sector, be sure to make sufficient arrangements with your employer or employees in advance. Many informal sector employees typically report to work for half the day on public holidays and bill for overtime. Some may choose to take the entire day off. 

  1. Set Your Opening Hours

If you’re in the entrepreneurial industry, you may partly open your shop on public holidays or close it altogether. Again, each option depends on the nature of your enterprise.  

Remember that not all businesses are allowed to operate during the public holiday period. As such, you may need to obtain certain explicit permissions or exemptions.  

More importantly, set your opening hours and communicate the same to your stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, etc. You can do that through text messages and email notifications in addition to displaying the information on your store signage.  

Retail entities like supermarkets may remain open for most of the day on public holidays. The same is true for catering services, lodge facilities, and gift shops. But if you operate businesses like hardware stores, it may be in your best interest to stay closed. 

  1. Avoid Over-committing 

The holiday season is rolling around, and for some reason, you suddenly feel morally obliged to carry everyone’s weight on your shoulders. Since it’s a season to extend a hand of kindness, you gladly want to help your coworkers prepare their annual reports.  

You’ve also scheduled numerous visits to family and friends. Not to mention the many parties and gifts lined up for the special people in your life.  

However, remember that you’re already working on a public holiday yourself. Therefore, you may not have the time to fulfill a litany of commitments.  

One way to manage your time is to avoid over-committing in the first place. Reorganize your to-do list and handle every item in the predetermined order of priority.  

Don’t give definite promises, either. Instead, use noncommittal words like “maybe” or “I’ll see what I can do.” 

  1. Make Meaningful Connections 

That you’ve chosen to work on a public holiday rather than spend the entire occasion with your dear ones speaks to your rather tight office schedules. Still, you wouldn’t want to sacrifice your social life at the altar of your professional commitments.  

So, spare some time to make meaningful connections throughout the holiday season, regardless of duration. Balance between executing your official duties and contacting your family and friends.  

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to travel across the country to celebrate a public holiday with the special people in your life if distance doesn’t permit it.  

A phone call, email, or Skype chat might effectively bridge the distance by allowing you to reconnect with your out-of-town folk. You could also leverage social media to send them season’s greetings. 

The Bottom Line 

Working on public holidays may present immense challenges. But it’s a lot easier than commonly thought. The above tips will surely come in handy in terms of optimizing your work efficiency during the holiday season. 

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