2020 is just about here and now only does this mean the ushering in of a new year, it is also the beginning of a whole new decade as we bid a warm farewell to the 2010s. There isn’t any time to look back as, any business owner knows all too well, you have to keep looking forward.
In any year there will be important dates and events that should be noted in order to keep any disruption to business to a minimum. Planning well in advance not only helps to keep business running smoothly, but it also serves to keep your employees happy – especially in cases where you can pre-judge periods where requests for annual leave will be in high demand.
Here, we have made a list of just some of the dates that you should keep in mind for 2020 that will, no doubt, be of importance either to you or to your members of staff.
Euro 2020 and Summer Olympic Games (12 June – 12 July and 24 July to 9 August Respectively)
It will be a big year for fans of sport with two of the biggest sporting events taking place this summer with the European Football Championships and the 32nd Olympic Games dominating the season. While summer is always a peak time for holiday requests to come flying in, such events are bound to play a major role in many an employee asking for time off.
Of course, you can’t grant time off for everyone that wants to watch either of these events, especially if the office is filled with sports fans all desperate not to miss a moment of the action. To help offset the expected surge of holiday requests, consult your team before the events are due to take place and gauge how many would be willing to accept a degree of flexibility. You can either offer to have a screen in the workplace showing the events, hopefully encouraging employees not to feel the need to book time off (or even call in sick), or to implement flexi-hours where staff can work hours around any matches or event they wish to watch. Employees will appreciate the business for offering such flexibility and, in twine, will be more likely to maintain high morale and productivity.
Ramadan (23 April – 23 May Depending on Sighting of the Moon)
For Muslims around the world, Ramadan presents the challenge of juggling the act of fasting and maintaining a professional life over the 30-day period. Business owners, too, have to carefully consider the impact of the Islamic month, with employees taking part likely to display signs of fatigue and lower concentration during the day as a result.
In Islamic countries, it is common for business hours to shorten during this month to accommodate for those fasting during the day. In countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, however, business carries on as usual and it is up to employers to decide on how they will approach the issue. It may be worth ensuring that any important meetings take place earlier in the working day when those fasting are at their most alert, as well considering offering the opportunity for those employees to work remotely for either a full or half-day. With various digital channels to choose from to maintain communication, remote workers can feel as though they are right there in the office alongside you.
Presidential Election (3 November)
On Tuesday 3 November the United States of America will cast its vote on who should be the man or woman to lead the nation. The run-up will see campaigns running from all sides of the political spectrum, and your employees will have their own opinions. During this period, it will be worth reminding your staff to keep politics away from the office as such discussion in the workplace rare ends well, often with a butting of heads of colleagues who disagree with one another.
Equally, you cannot ignore it and must allow your staff to cast their vote. Request that they make sure to vote outside of working hours, or on a lunch break if feasible, and do not openly discuss it at work.
These are just a small selection of the dates to keep in mind as we embark on 2020, while you will also do well to consider local school term dates as parents will likely want to book annual leave during the school holidays.