Survey Results: Skipping the Holidays

Last week I posted a brief survey about working the holiday. To those who normally are not required to work the holidays, I asked if they would be willing to do so if the price was right, and if so, what that price would be (relative to what they normally make). There were 46 responses to this survey, and I’ve summarized the results below.

Question 1: Would you be willing to skip the holidays (not just working – out of town entirely) with family and friends if asked by an employer or client?


A little over half of the respondents indicated that they would be willing to miss out on the holidays if they were compensated well enough.

The second question dealt with what amount of money would be required before skipping the holidays.


As shown, the most popular positive response was that it would take a month of pay to make it worthwhile to work the holidays.

There were a couple of interesting data points I found:

  • Of those who answered in the negative on the first question, a little less than half of those (47.6%) indicated an answer other than “No way!” on the second question.
  • Two of the responses had no answer for question 2. Of that small subset, one had answered affirmatively on question one, and the other answered negatively.
  • Of the 46 responses, there were 18 who left clarifying remarks in the Comments response. In those comments, the most common two words were “family” and “time”.

When I shared this survey on social media, there was some good discussion around the conditions under which one would work the holidays. Several folks responded that they would respond differently (and with different pay expectations as well) based on what type of organization was involved. Some people indicated that they would be more flexible with a non-profit or other charitable organization than they would with a for-profit company. Similarly, some of my consultant friends said it would depend on who was asking; for a brand new client with no history, the response would likely be different than if a current client with an established relationship asked for assistance.

Around my house, this generated an interesting discussion. When I posed the question to my wife, her response was a quick and emphatic, “No!” When I pressed a bit, I asked if there would be any amount of money that would make it worthwhile to be out of town for the holiday season. Even when proposing a ridiculous sum – $1 million – for skipping out on the holidays, her answer remained solidly in the negative. My response was very different. Although I would not embrace the possibility of leaving my family during the holidays, I am pragmatic about when holidays are celebrated. If a good client was in a pinch and needed help, or if the money involved made it attractive, I’d consider shifting time with the family to before or after the actual holidays. As one of the respondents to my survey wrote in the comments: “You make hay when the sun is shining.”

Final Thoughts

Putting together this survey and analyzing the results served as a reminder that, while many of us have the opportunity to be at home with our families during the holidays, many do not. I want to thank those in the military who are deployed and are away from their families for the holidays. For the rest of us, let’s do what we can to support our troops.

About the Author

Tim Mitchell
Tim Mitchell is a data architect and consultant who specializes in getting rid of data pain points. Need help with data warehousing, ETL, reporting, or training? If so, contact Tim for a no-obligation 30-minute chat.

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