The holiday season can be one of the most joyous times of the year, but for many workers, it's one of the busiest times as well.

Despite competing work and personal demands of the season, a new Accountemps survey finds 65 percent of employees believe they are more productive during the holidays.

Dora Onyschak, metro market manager for Accountemps and Robert Half in Woodbridge, said during the holidays, everyone is happier. Morale is up, and morale is a huge booster to productivity.

But thirty-five percent say their productivity takes a dip during the holiday season for four reasons. Onyschak said 36 percent cite personal and social commitments, 31 percent blame greater year-end workloads, 17 percent cite cold and flu season and 16 percent were busy doing holiday shopping that they still had to catch up on in the days leading to Christmas.

But managers can find ways to get employees engaged and become more productive. Keeping morale high is key to getting the work done, Onyschak said.

"Having meetings and making sure that everyone understands what their commitments and timelines are for certain projects and workloads are critical," she said.

She added that managers need to follow up with their employees and engage with them so they know what they're working on. If there's a deadline that needs to be helped along, or someone else needs to jump on that project, that also has to be addressed.

The holidays are a popular time for employees to take some time off. That may put pressure on those who are left behind to pick up the work slack.

Pre-planning is always a good thing, Onyschak said. Managers should try and find out ahead of time who is taking off and when, then figure out how to spread the workload around. Bringing in temporary help this time of year may also relieve some of the work pressures.

To maintain a work/life balance during the holiday season, Onyschak suggested that managers provide their employees with autonomy and allow them to work their own schedules, knowing that the trade-off is that they must still meet those deadlines, be productive and meet those goals.

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