Tech Companies Eye Holiday Shutdowns

You know economic times are tough when the high-tech firms of Silicon Valley are encouraging—and, in some cases, even requiring—employees to stay at home over the end-of-year holidays.

Technology giant Cisco announced yesterday that it will close most of its U.S. and Canadian offices for four days over the holidays as part of a cost-cutting move, and that announcement follows Hewlett-Packard’s recent decision to extend its normal one-week holiday shutdown to two weeks. Software maker Adobe Systems has also encouraged its employees to take a little extra downtime around the end of the year, and even Apple has asked some employees to take time off.

All the firms say business-critical operations and technical support services would remain operational during the breaks.

Many Silicon Valley firms go through relatively formal close-downs during the period between Christmas and New Years’ when many employees are on vacation. In Cisco’s case, the shutdown will run from December 29 through January 2, and marks the company’s first mandatory close-down in more than ten years.