Silicon Valley tech companies are closing down over the holiday season!
This is the headline from a Financial times article (free subscription needed) last weekend. Some workers of big IT companies are forced to take paid time off, or unpaid time if they have used up their precious 10 days of holidays already.
Workers at some of Silicon Valley?s biggest companies will find themselves spending an uncommonly long time with their families this Christmas as the technology industry responds to the downturn with office and factory closures and enforced holidays.
Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Advanced Micro Devices, Texas Instruments, Dell, Adobe and CSC are among the tech industry heavyweights to be taking a break, with some closed from December 22 until January 5.
Coming from Europe, I think it is already unbelievable to have only 10 days of holidays a year. How can you ever cope with that! (Luckily I have 20, standard 15, with an extra day for every year you have been within the company maximum of 20).
In spite of the enforced leisure, workers will be hit directly by the closures, with most required to use up part of their holiday entitlement or, if they do not have the days to spare, take unpaid leave.
Given that many US workers receive only 10 days of vacation a year, the effect will be biggest there, although most of the companies to close say they will be halting operations worldwide.
Most people don't like working during the holiday season. I believe it is one of those times you just get shit done, so I probably will be putting in hard slave labor these day, starting today!
This morning the parking lot looked empty, more empty than ever. I guess it won't fill up today either, as a lot of people take some time off to unwind and refresh their energy levels. Normally this parking lot is packed!
Disclaimer: picture was taken at 8.30! this only added to cover my sorry ass!
The top reasons why you should go to work during Christmas holiday:
- You actually get a lot of work done. As more people are out than in, the office is going to be empty. Not a lot of meetings are planned, Not a lot of emails are send around and I won't receive all those time consuming telephone calls.
- Easy decision making. When a lot of people are out of office, this will make decision making much easier. Less people to consult with. And if you really need to consult their bosses, just send them an email with a deadline on the decision you propose. No answer will imply they agree.
- Christmas parties in the office. As not a lot of people are keeping the lights on, you have a feeling you are all in it together. With all those bottles of wine and champagne laying around you got from your business partners, you can throw a good office party almost everyday! These are the only days on which it is practically socially acceptable you crack a beer open at 12 pm, of go out for 2 hour lunches.
- You can actually find a parking spot. Normally the parking lot above in the picture is packed. the lot is filling up quite fast right after 9. And if you come back from off campus lunch, you are screwed! Now, during the holidays, it won't be a problem to find a good spot close to the door. So park your car as if you are a VIP, next to the main entrance of the building you are working in.
- No morning or evening commute traffic. Since nobody is going to work, there will be nobody on the roads. The 280 San Francisco - South Bay is practically empty.
- Avoid the (in-) laws or family. Do you have family flying in? Escaping to the office because you have some important work to finish might be the best way to avoid the long days filled with conversations how much the family misses you.
- Save you PTO for Summer holiday. If you only have 10 days to spend on PTO, why the hell would you spend these days during the Xmas holidays, when flights are most expensive, hotels in ski or sunny locations are packed with screaming kids and you actually don't get time to rest because of all the long Xmas.
- 2008 & 2009 look back- / Forward posts dominate the blogosphere. It's the time to read all the look back and forward looking posts about the past and coming year. All big sites will post lists of what to expect the coming year. Always good reads and plan accordingly.
- Safe money not spending time shopping or in coffee shops. While working in the office, you don't have time to spend all that money on nothing if you were walking through the city. Let's face it, boring free Xmas days are most of the time spend walking through shopping streets, spending money on that ugly Christmas sweater you really don't need and drinking too expensive coffees at Starbucks.
- Maybe you don't believe in Christmas. Thinking about my colleagues in China, they probably will be working during the Christmas days. Chinese New Year is their holiday to take off. Maybe you don't believe in Christmas and don't want to spend the time on it.
- Confiscate all those partner gifts that are sent to your colleagues. Have you seen the stack of champagne bottles at the desk of those hard working sales guys. They get all the dough at the end of the year from their partners. Cases of wine, bottles of champagne and boxes full of Belgian chocolate. Too bad they are not there to get these packages and take home. You might as well enjoy all these gifts, as they probably will go over their expiration dates before the new year 😉
Bonus reason: Show off to your manager you are committed to the objectives. Let's face it, even if you don't like it, brown nosing IS a way of survival in this economy. If you are not getting ahead of the competition, that means your fellow co-workers who are kicking it at the Christmas dinner table, your head might be on the chopping block the next time pink slips are handed out. Just read the Catbert's HR manifesto in your cube over the holidays and you'll have all the ammunition to make it in 2009!
The days around Christmas holidays are the best days to be in the office. Why would you not want to work on these days!!!
What are your reasons to work during the holidays?