Almost intuitively, some businesses shut down and send everyone home as the end of the year approaches. Those that do might actually open the New Year as happier, healthier places to work, simply because they avoided the workplace stress mess that typically occurs around the holidays.

Virgin Pulse has attempted to quantify the level of stress employees experience during the holiday season, and the results of Virgin's survey support sending the troops home for the holidays. Folks will still be stressed there, but at least they won't be bringing their anxiety to work, where it takes a toll in lost productivity and behavior detrimental to company morale.

If you can't afford to send 'em home early, the wise manager might decide to find ways to let younger workers—read: millennials—spend less time on the job. The Virgin survey found younger workers reported much higher levels of stress than their elders, mainly because they were worried about getting ready for the holidays and couldn't keep their heads in the business game as well as more experienced workers.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.