Should Employees Work on Thanksgiving?

With the holiday season sneaking in and black Friday right around the corner, consumers begin to plan for the big day. But what if you weren’t able to take advantage of pre-holiday shopping or enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family?

PR Daily explores the notion that some retailers require employees to be available to work during the holiday season, specifically Thanksgiving and the positive and negative effects behind this decision. Some employees may prefer to work the holidays for a little extra cash while some may be devastated they aren’t able to spend time with their family.  The question – “Are retailers ruining Thanksgiving?”

Working During the Holidays

The positives

– The opportunity for employees to gain extra hours and holiday pay

– For retailers: Earlier opening hours = more money and sales

– Store inventories are stocked and prepared for the black Friday rush

The negatives

– Family oriented companies are not fulfilling their values if they take employees away from their families on Thanksgiving

– Employees aren’t able to spend valuable time with friends and family during Thanksgiving

– Creates a bitter work environment for those forced to work

My take

Unfortunately, unless consumer culture dramatically changes and there is less demand for black Friday deals, retailers will continue to open their doors earlier and earlier which means there is an increased need for employees.

Companies that work to create a holiday work schedule with input from employees are on the right track,  but this seems hard to establish a schedule that makes everyone happy.

In my opinion companies should be in the leaders in establishing consumer culture and the black Friday schedule. If they are able to take the lead and determine a standard black Friday schedule consistent with other retailers, consumers will be forced to wait and can therefore enjoy Thanksgiving dinner instead of skipping dessert to shop. Employees shouldn’t be forced to work during such special times of the year. Not having to work on Thanksgiving  or even just that evening, can provide employees with a stress-free day to relax and enjoy the holiday spirit where they will return to work feeling revived.

Target shoppers rushing the store during black Friday.

Photo Source


One thought on “Should Employees Work on Thanksgiving?

  1. You hit the nail on the head here. Consumers are continually demanding more and more from retailers around the holiday season, so to say retailers should not work on holidays is asking a bit much.

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