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Should You Work on Black Friday?


Even if you don’t work retail, your office might be open on the day after Thanksgiving (lots of places are). Ever since the creation of the holiday, it’s fallen on a Thursday, and while we celebrate it as a federal holiday, the day after isn’t a given paid day off. So, if you’re choosing between taking an unpaid day or putting in a slow day at the salt mines while your family gathers at grandma’s for leftovers, how do you decide?


(Photo Credit: inazakira/Flickr)

Should You Take a Free Day?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Freelancers, contractors, and those who own their own business often get the choice to take an unpaid day off if they choose not to work over “Thanksgiving weekend.” While Thursday might be a traditional day to spend with family, food, and football, should you go back to work that Friday? It kind of depends on your priorities. If you haven’t taken a day off since Labor Day, you might be due for a little R&R, but it’ll cost you. To put it in perspective, if you make $30,000 per year, an unpaid day off would cost you $115.38 in lost wages. If you’re already don’t get paid holidays, and plan to take Thanksgiving and the day after off this year, that’s over $230 you’re paying just to stay home. So, if you’d rather bank that money than spend it, head back to work on Friday. Sorry.

How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Stay Home

So let’s say you don’t feel like you can take the day off, but you really really don’t want to come in to the office. Try to convince your boss to let you work from home! If you have a laptop, great! Lay out your plan to work from home, and settle any IT or security access issues before you leave work on Wednesday night. If you can check email on your phone, but not take a computer home, see if you can go old-school and work from printouts, or, if security policies allow, on your personal computer. Your boss may be cool and give the OK as long as you’re productive and available should anyone need to get in touch (don’t forget that out-of-office info for your email or cube wall!).

Pros to Working on Black Friday

If you’re not working retail (and we hope you’re not one of these guys), and you have to go in to work, the good news is your office will likely be pretty quiet, which means you’ll get a ton of work done. Plus, with regular commuters jamming the malls, you probably won’t have too many other cars to compete with on the roads, or people blocking up your bus or train.

But we hope your job has other things in mind for you on Friday. Outdoor supply store REI is making news this year by making a point of keeping all of its stores AND offices closed on Black Friday and encouraging everyone to spend the day outside. To help accommodate that, 49 California redwood state parks and Arizona State Parks are going to be free on the 27th as well.

Still, if you have to come in, bring some leftovers to share. Your work family will appreciate it.

Tell Us What You Think

Will you work on Black Friday? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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