Shopping Day Off – Black Friday madness straight from the USA
For Americans, the end of November is a special time to celebrate and spend time with family, but it's also a very exciting time for the rest of the world, but for other reasons. Black Friday – time, when the whole world is waiting for the best prices of a year.
Shopping madness has been known for years and it’s always very expected. Same as Black Friday, Cyber Monday – day of online stores and electronic promotion – became something that people can’t wait for.
Thanksgiving – the beginning of an unexpected tradition
The tradition of Thanksgiving dates back to the 17th century, although the first mention of it went down in the history of the 16th century. During this special day, Americans are celebrating the arrival of the Mayflower pilgrims on the Rock of Plymouth and the bountiful harvests of 1621 thanks to which they were able to survive harsh winter with the help of Wampanoag Indians.
Feasting and having fun combined the American harvest festival and one of the six traditional ceremonies celebrated by the Native Americans. The last Thursday of November became a National Day in 1863 established by Abraham Lincoln.
American families celebrate Thanksgiving with their closest ones eating turkey, sharing their gratefulness, and spending time together. Estimates for 2020 say that this year Americans will eat over 45 million turkeys for the total cost of over 1 billion dollars.
Other popular Thanksgiving traditions include playing football, watching the game together, going for a family walk, and also – preparing for the Friday – most wanted day off in November, to get the chance to buy products with the highest discounts of a year. This shopping madness has its name – Black Friday. Thanks to its attractiveness, it quickly runs the world, becoming a well-known international shopping celebration.
Where did Black Friday come from?
The origin of the name of the American shopping fever isn't known, but there are some theories about it. However, all of them show how impossible it is to overlook the shopping crowd.
The first theory says that Black Friday was originally used to call traffic jams, hard-driving conditions, and crowds of cars and people muffling near the shopping centers. The term first functioned among bus drivers and policemen.
The second theory relates to the first use of the term in 1981. It was supposed to convey a positive message, referring to the black ink used in account books to write down the satisfactory results.
The third theory isn't that optimistic. It refers to the great wave of day offs that flowed to companies that day. Many people wanted to combine Thanksgiving with the weekend so they can rest on a short vacation, spend time with family, and go shopping in peace. From the employee's point of view, it's a great opportunity to request a day off, but for employers, it turned out to be a difficult day with a significantly reduced number of employees.
History shows that you always have to think ahead to be prepared for various contingencies. Therefore, to avoid the next bad days like this one, it is worth knowing the dangers of ineffective absence management.
The Blackest Black Friday – coronavirus pandemic
The growing popularity of the e-commerce industry is something that people are talking about for years, and although the forecasts were always extremely optimistic, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic significantly accelerated this process. The growth recorded between 2019 and 2020 exceeded all expectations.
Although the epidemic is keeping people in homes and the financial situation in the world is shaky, there’s no illusions – Black Friday will happen and it will be extremely interesting, because so different from what we used to know. For e-commerce, it's a great chance to show their advantage and record the best results ever. But it also will be a challenging time for those who weren't ready.
From the customer's point of view, it's a good phenomenon. Due to the higher competition, they will have a chance to be the biggest winners between companies and fight over them by offering better and better promotions.
And what about an extra day off?
Online shopping doesn't require people to leave work. They can but even from their workplaces using laptops or mobile devices. Working from home also gives freedom which makes finding time to buy some things easier. Extra leave day can be used to spend more time with family out of a city, to disconnect from the usual environment to get some break for both body and mind.
And how do companies deal with all this? Every year days like Black Friday are one of the basic problems that the HR department has to solve. Every employer knows that their subordinates want the longest vacation for the lowest possible costs so they can rest for real.
Days like Break Friday can be tricky – on the one hand, employees want to be able to do the shopping themselves at exceptional prices. On the other hand, for someone to be able to buy something, there has to be someone else to work – and this is often associated with a sacrifice that employees in the sales industry must be willing to make for the sake of the company's results.
In some enterprises, the matter is resolved by determining how often a given employee is entitled to a given type of leave. If the last year employee was on holiday on Black Friday, he has to work the following year. In other places, employees are asked, even at the beginning of the year, to refrain from absences during this boiling time, and in return, they are allowed for online shopping without interfering with their duties during working hours.
In some enterprises, employees are motivated by rewards for sufficiently high results. In return for the hard work, if the company achieves the established results, subordinates will be rewarded with a special price – like a free ice cream machine in the office or a trip to the spa.
While this year's Thanksgiving and Black Friday will look different than people around the world got used to It will be an interesting time to wait for, carefully selecting the sites where you want to buy something.
For many employers, this is a comfortable situation that does not pose a threat to the liquidity of the organization, and for many employees, it's an opportunity to finally be able to take advantage of some of the best discounts.
And what are the advantages of working remotely and saving leave days that allow you to look at the labor market from a different angle? Contact us and share your thoughts! And if you want to know more about clock in and out or leave management tool - feel free to send us a question.
With the punch cards and magnetic time cards being usually associated with employee clock in and clock out systems one may think that using a mobile app is an unnecessary fancy gadget. And that can be the reason behind a huge frustration that would be easy to avoid.