Between parties, travel plans and the dreaded trips to the mall, holidays are a naturally stressful time — throw in a global economic crisis and productivity is bound to suffer. According to Purdue Retail Institute, the busiest time for online shopping is between noon and 4 p.m.

Circles, a Boston-based loyalty services company, offers concierge services to help employers trim the time employees spend focusing on the holidays instead of work.

"Stress not only puts a damper on holiday cheer, but negatively impacts workplace productivity as well," said Kimberlee Mineo, Circles' vice president for client development, in a press release. "As stress levels rise, so do absenteeism and presenteeism. Employers who offer concierge services give employees a way to control the chaos of the holiday season, giving them more time to spend with their families and more time to focus on their work responsibilities."

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