Open Thread: Downtime in December?


Euan Semple writes at The Obvious that the Christmas season could be a good time to get your workplace to try out social software because of the surplus of time people have:

One of the most common reasons given for not becoming engaged online is time. Many people feel that time spent on blogs or forums is time wasted…. But during the Christmas season, even in the busiest of offices, there tends to be more down time and people are more relaxed about how they use it. People on shift over the Christmas period have more time to “play” when the office is quiet and often surf their way towards blogs, wikis or forums and get involved for the first time.

While this may be the case in some workplaces, I’d imagine many web workers, especially those who freelance or otherwise run their own businesses, may not find much time to rest and relax during the holiday season. I’m looking forward to a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, but not expecting much downtime between preparing for holiday celebrations and getting regular work done.

What about you? Will you find some downtime in December?


Anne Zelenka

Euan – I know you weren’t making a grand pronouncement for everyone, but your comment was just too useful as a starting point to resist!

It’s a good reminder to freelancers (and those who might contemplate freelancing) of the benefits of working as an employee in an office setting.

Euan W Semple

I used the word corporate in the title of the post to indicate I was really talking about office workers and was remembering back to my time at the BBC where apart from people involved in playing stuff out the place could get very quiet over Christmas.

As a freelancer now myself I feel your pain guys!


Ah, this year I WILL be enjoying downtime in December (at least, it’s looking that way so far…)

As a freelancer, though, most years I have mad work in December as clients need someone to fill in for staffers who ARE taking it easy for December…

April Holle

At my workplace we do see a slow down in Nov/Dec around the holidays, I think a lot of this is due to our clients being busy and budgets that are already used up for the year . After we roll out any holiday specific needs it’s general maintenance at that point and the status quo.

So we have a policy in the office, if you don’t have anything to work on at the moment, work on yourself. Hone your skills, read about the industry and learn something new. Since you can never know EVERYTHING there’s always something to do!

Our office environment is very viral as well, we openly share our new ideas and gathered information, so even those who are still working on billable materials can take a look at them later when they have their spare moment. This can be in the form of internal emails, links over social networks like our Facebook group, and our own blogs which we’re encouraged to keep. :)

Adam Benayoun

Downtime in December?
I find this period of time more stressful than any other time.

We’re working harder than any other month.

We’ve just launched our private beta, so no sleep for us :)

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