About 79 percent of Americans plan to finish up holiday shopping at the last minute, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. And, to keep up with the holiday flurry, many workers will turn to the flexibility of telecommuting to stay connected while shopping, traveling and minding the kids on winter break.
Working from home during the holidays doesn’t mean you can neglect work responsibilities, but prioritizing your work and personal obligations can be tough—especially when you’re still rounding up packages for those that made the cut on the “nice” column of your gift list.
Here are five telecommuting tips for last-minute holiday shoppers to manage your time and reach the finish line of your shopping list:
Want to completely avoid stores? See telecommuting tip #5. Image Source: Death to Stock Photo
Shop Online: There’s still time to check out online and avoid elbowing your way through store aisles. Here’s a lesser known but simple tip: Buy online with free in-store pickup. Typically within hours of buying online, you can pick up orders, and this way you see exactly what’s available before you go (not to mention, you can apply exclusive online promotion codes and avoid overnight shipping costs).
- Stop Browsing: The time to research and window-shop for the perfect gift was weeks ago. It’s go time. You’re down to the wire. Use every online gift guide, gift idea generator or sales associate (if you’re shopping brick-and-mortar) to quickly crowdsource gift ideas. This goes for price comparing and wrapping, too. Pay a little more if you must to get back your time, and take advantage of online and in-store gift packaging to cut down on holiday tasks.
- Pencil in Shopping: You must allocate a specific timeframe for shopping if you don’t want it to bleed into your telecommuting time. If work gets pushed into your personal time and weekends, you’ll only add to holiday stress. Use your lunch break, or request an hour in the morning or afternoon to devote to your shopping mission.
- Stay Connected: Whether you’re braving the stores or just opening new tabs, you must communicate with your boss and leave a status message on when you’ll be available. There’s nothing worse than a nowhere-to-be-found telecommuter. Use an app like Agenday to stay on top of your online meetings and even join them on the go if you’re in a jam.
- Print Gifts: For super speedy, last-minute holiday shopping, here’s a power tip: Buy gifts that only require a printer. Some of the most unique, memorable gifts only require a printer or email to give, like event tickets, experience gifts, gift cards and monthly subscriptions.
But for many, the season of stress lasts well into the New Year between parties, travel and finishing up the year at work. For more work-life balance tips for the holidays, check out the 12 Days of Telework from PGi now.
Featured Image Source: Albumarium