17 Entrepreneurs Share Their Thanksgiving Work Hours

November 25, 2014

10:01 am

Earlier this year, we had 19 entrepreneurs share what hours they work. But how does the Thanksgiving Day parade, a 10-pound turkey, and an apple pie coma change things up?

We asked another group of entrepreneurs to share their planned work hours this Thanksgiving. I say “planned,” because I know the allure of email and work is like a drug. Faced with the choice between post-turkey coffee and a bout of email, sometimes the email looks more appealing.

Here’s what they shared with us:

No work

“For Thanksgiving, my cofounder and I agreed to both ‘go dark’ for 24 hours. We’ve been working around the clock for three months; it’s only healthy for us to focus on our families, food, and friends for the holiday. Friday will be a light day, with minimal expectations. We can choose to stay away from work if we’d like to.”

– Greg Muender, cofounder of Whttl

“I’m actually traveling for the holiday, which means three hours of driving, so no work Thursday. Friday is work as normal.”

– Aaron Goodin, CEO of Tack

“I won’t be working on Thanksgiving. Even though we have a major milestone we’re trying to reach coming up, it’s important to spend time with the people and family in our lives that support and enable us to work so hard while on the startup rollercoaster ride.”

– Roland Ligtenberg, cofounder and VP of growth & business development at HouseCall

Before or after dinner

“I usually wake up early on Thanksgiving, have dinner with the family from noon-4 pm and only check email occasionally during, then get right back to work after doing the dishes.”

– Megan Cox, cofounder of Miramix

“I’ll work 4 am to 7 am as I do every day. It’s three quiet hours before everybody gets up in the morning. I’ll get caught up and also have time to work on the next big thing :-)”

– Brandon Bruce, cofounder of Cirrus Insight

“Pre-dinner and dinner time is reserved for family. Post-dinner and dessert I usually find an empty bedroom and start working.”

– Mikhail Avady, CMO of Smartup

“I’m going to stick to my daily ritual. Go grab a quick workout, then head home and put in a couple hours for work afterwards. Personal, catch-up items. Then it is off for the rest of the day, to spend time with family.”

– Chris Ciborowski, founder and managing partner of Nebulaworks

Here and there

“I’m not planning to sit at my desk and code on Thanksgiving, but I will definitely be checking our support email as much as possible between eating turkey and chasing children 🙂 We sell software that fixes corrupt iPhone backups, and when customers have questions about the repairs or need help, the emails are pretty urgent.”

– Kelly Wilkerson, cofounder of Decipher Media

“Ha! I sometimes wish I had a 9-5 that allowed me to take time off. Unfortunately, a website (who cares about the customer experience) requires 24/7 monitoring and customer assistance. Don’t worry. I’ll get my turkey and time spent with family but because our business can be run via smartphone, I’ll be sneaking away from time to time to keep things running smoothly.”

– Chris Sonjeow, cofounder of LoveBook

On call and email

“We have a team of four and we aren’t planning to work *per se,* but since we are product advertising and our business is driven by retail, we will all be on high alert in case the expected spikes in volume on Thanksgiving evening and on Black Friday cause any problems with our system. Our CTO in particular is going to need to be accessible. Even when you’re off, you’re not really off….”

– Jake Chapman, cofounder and COO of Progrids.com

“We are very thankful for the hard work our team puts into our product, and want them to relax, decompress, and have so much fun with their family that they’ll be begging to be back at work. So we are closing for the holiday and our top technical management will take the burden of being on-call support.”

– Irit Gillath, VP of marketing at Stackify

“In between fooding and socializing, I plan to check my emails around the clock and respond to inquiries on social media. Of course, this is if I don’t fall asleep from a food coma. :)”

– Jade Shyu, cofounder and VP of marketing at SocialTagg

“Personally, I’ll be with my wife and 3-month-old daughter…along with her grandparents, many cousins, and friends. I’m thankful that I’ll get a chance to connect with the people I love, and happy that my employees get to do the same. . . . A few members of our dedicated team (including myself) have volunteered for customer service shifts during our holiday closure.”

– Ajay Godhwani, cofounder and CEO of FarFaria

Work as usual

“Since the half of our company that’s not in the US – and many of our customers – have never heard of Thanksgiving, I will be online, doing customer support and working with non-US team members. So, basically, I’ll just be staring at the phone, as usual, instead of spending the holiday with my family and paying attention to my children.”

– Andrei Soroker, founder and CEO of Kato.im

“Two of our cofounders are still working day jobs. They have a couple days off this Thanksgiving break, so we are taking that opportunity to conduct a sprint on product development.”

– Bryan Clayton, cofounder and CEO of GreenPal

“This Thanksgiving, I plan on working the same as any other day. Unfortunately, in the startup world there is no such thing as work hours vs. non-work hours. Startups know no weekends or holidays. Every day is the same. I do plan to enjoy some time playing with my nieces and nephews, and of course eating delicious food, but much coffee will be in order to keep awake and working, too!”

– Jacob Perler, cofounder and CEO of Snaapiq

“In between the turkey and potatoes, I think I’ll manage to find a full day’s work – especially with our launch around the corner on Small Business Saturday. My family has always been so supportive of Colabination – who knows, maybe I can bribe some of them to help out!”

– Ryan Erfer, cofounder of Colabination

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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