Working during the holidays can be stressful, especially for temporary workers. This is LGC’s 16th year in business, so we know a little about sharing advice with workers. That’s why we put together this gig worker holiday guide.
Gig Worker Holiday Guide
When retail and hospitality industry workers hear the phrase “holiday season”, the first thing that comes to mind are the busy (and often hectic) shifts. With long hours and an influx of customers finalizing their holiday shopping, working at this time of year can be exciting – yet stressful.
Whether you’re a full-time employee or just looking to pick up a couple extra shifts, working the stretch between Black Friday and New Year’s generally proves to be a profitable endeavor.
With thousands of employees working at 30 LGC locations around the country, we know a trick or two for surviving the holidays. That’s why we put together this simple, yet effective gig worker holiday guide for making the most of the season.
Be mindful of your schedule
We understand the desire for a great payday but burning yourself out by overworking may lead to illness, the inability to perform necessary job duties, or a shift in productivity or attitude. Studies suggest working 50 hours per week or less to ensure you’re operating at 100%.
Maintaining a fair workload is as important as managing your schedule to ensure you’re not double-booking gigs. You may lose credibility with your employer(s) if you must call off a shift due to a scheduling error. By creating a work calendar, it’ll be easier to keep track of your schedule.
Take care of yourself
Another way to combat burnout is by practicing self-care, which is an important part of our gig worker holiday guide. Often, the last person we think about during work is ourselves; but in order to work effectively, we need to fully functional and feeling good. There are a few simple ways to practice self-care, such as:
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Staying hydrated
- Maintaining a healthy eating schedule
- Utilizing shift breaks
- Asking questions/expressing concerns
Self-care comes in different forms and the best way to figure out what you need to be successful is by listening to your mind and body. Are you feeling confused about job responsibilities, leaving work stressed? Ask your manager to clarify on what your day-to-day should look like. Feeling sluggish during a shift? Make sure to get a good night’s sleep or have a snack on hand. Put yourself first, that way your manager, team, and customers get the best version of you at work.
Being safe applies to everything from working conditions to commuting. During the holidays especially, employees are prone to work long hours which can lead to commuting extremely early in the morning or late at night. In order to stay safe, we suggest being aware of your surroundings (including people), removing your headphones when walking, refraining from going down alleys or through parks, and keeping money or valuables in your pocket/bag.
Staying safe also applies to your place of employment. If you’re in a situation where you aren’t comfortable with the work conditions or are asked to perform job responsibilities that are unsafe or outside of your skill level, don’t hesitate to speak up. Express concerns to the manager or ask to be placed in a different position. Most managers understand that safety is the number one priority for their employees and will be accommodating. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations set forth by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) on a workers’ right to refuse dangerous work here.
According to recent studies, having fun at work can lead to “enhanced motivation, increased productivity, reduced stress, higher job satisfaction, and improved task performance.” Of course, ‘fun’ at work is subjective to your environment and responsibilities. Here are a few easy ways for you (and management) to have a little fun to help cope with a stressful day.
- Jazz up pre-shift – play some music or do a quick ice breaker.
- Hold a friendly competition – who can ring up the most customers in an hour?
- Sit with coworkers during your break – unfortunately this isn’t always possible due to scheduling, but when applicable, find a buddy to have lunch with.
During the holidays, several hundred thousand hospitality, food service, and retail professionals head out to make some extra cash. By following the tips in our holiday survival guide, you’ll make the most out of the season while keeping yourself safe and happy.