Money isn’t the only thing that keeps employees motivated during the holiday season, according to a recent report from West Monroe Partners.

SEE: The future of IT jobs: A business leader’s guide (Tech Pro Research)

The report surveyed 2,000 full-time US employees to determine how the holidays affect their productivity. The top five things employees said would improve their productivity during the holiday season were larger holiday bonuses (44%), ability to work remotely more than normal (37%), more flexible scheduling (33%), more office festivities (21%), and a better organized PTO schedule for the team (19%).

Currently, the majority of employees (51%) reported feeling uncomfortable asking their managers for time off during the holidays. Some 50% of these employees said this is because their managers expect them to be available during their time off. And 25% said they would feel bad taking off, with the holidays being the busiest time of year, according to the report.

However, companies can help alleviate employee discomfort and boost productivity in four key ways, according to the report:

1. Close the office on days beyond federal holidays

Employees report heightened productivity and satisfaction when given more time off, especially leading into the new year, when workers are more likely to be searching for a new job, according to the report. If closing the office is too difficult, then companies should at least offer other options for employees to recharge, such as greater scheduling flexibility.

2. Accommodate remote working

Business leaders should balance business goals with employee preferences during the holiday season. An easy way to ensure work gets done while making employees happy is through remote work. Some 91% of employees reported being just as productive when working outside of the office, the report found. Remote work gives employees the opportunity to visit family or take other trips during the holiday, without having to take PTO, according to the report.

3. Be cognizant of flexible scheduling and recognition

During the holiday season, 38% of employees said they want less in-office distractions so they don’t have to work overtime, the report found. Some want to come in early or stay late to spend more time with family. If companies work with employees to create a schedule that is best for them, they are more likely to stay happy and motivated.

4. Prepare managers with more leadership skills

The holidays present a good opportunity at the end of the year to help managers improve. Trainings help managers develop better relationships with their employees, and can also help managers consider implementing policies that help their teams succeed, according to the report.

For more tips on how managers can forge better connections with their employees, check out this TechRepublic article.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Employees reported working remotely (37%) and more scheduling flexibility (33%) as big factors contributing to productivity during the holidays. — West Monroe Partners, 2018
  • Over half (51%) of employees feel uncomfortable asking supervisors for time off during the holidays. — West Monroe Partners, 2018