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downloadSanta’s not the only one making a list and checking it twice: Many employees shift into high gear as the holidays approach, a new survey from Accountemps suggests. Thirty-two percent of workers polled said they become more productive the week before a major holiday. Twenty-two percent of professionals, however, reported that their output wanes.

“The holidays are a hectic time for many professionals, and people react differently under pressure,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. “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.”

Driscoll noted that reduced year-end productivity can pose challenges 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 said. “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.”