new Accountemps survey found that about one in three professionals become more productive as the holiday season approaches. Thirty-two percent of polled workers said they become more productive the week before a major holiday, while twenty-two percent of professionals reported that their output decreases.

"The holidays are a hectic time for many professionals, and people react differently under pressure," said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps, in a statement. "For some, upcoming holidays spur them to move faster and more efficiently, while others are slowed down by the feeling of being pulled in many directions."

The survey also found that late afternoon is when many workers tend to slow down, with 29 percent citing 4 to 6 p.m. as their least productive time of day. Most employees responded that they were most productive between 10 a.m. and noon.

Workers were asked, "Are you more or less productive the week before a major holiday?" Their responses were thusly:

Much more productive


Somewhat more productive


No difference


Somewhat less productive


Much less productive




*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Respondents were also asked, "In general, what is your least productive time of day?" Their responses were:

8 to 10 a.m.


10 a.m. to noon


Noon to 2 p.m.


2 to 4 p.m.


4 to 6 p.m.


Don't know/other




Driscoll also went on to say that reduced year-end productivity can be challenging for many businesses: "Companies are trying to close the books on the quarter, staff up for the coming year and use up remaining budget as the holidays approach," he stated. "Many firms can benefit from bringing in temporary professionals to augment their staff. This enables core team members to take time off freely while keeping business on track."

For more on Accountemps, head to their site here.