Employees around the country really want to let loose this holiday season following the economic difficulties of the last 18 months – but nearly one in three won’t have the opportunity, as many smaller businesses plan to forgo the annual Christmas party this year.
However, according to a survey of 613 small businesses and their staff by Euroffice.co.uk, the UK’s leading online office supplier, an impressive 69% of the businesses surveyed are wanting to put their worries to one side for one night and are planning to hold a Christmas party – and of those that are, 74% really want to let their hair down, saying that after the last 12 months, they “deserve a fun, lively party”.
In fact – and perhaps contrary to popular belief – the vast majority (70%) of those surveyed by Euroffice.co.uk say they “like” office Christmas parties – 18% even going so far as to say they “love” them and “the holidays couldn’t get here fast enough”. Surprisingly, only 16% of all those surveyed dislike the end-of-year ritual, viewing it as an “unnecessary expense” or a waste of time.
Yet the holiday cheer isn’t reaching everyone. For nearly a third of those small businesses taking part in the survey, the realities of this year are proving too hard to ignore with 31% saying they are not planning an office Christmas party at all. And, for a quarter of those who are having a party, expectations are low, as budget cuts are likely to mean the event won’t be as good as past years.
Simon Drakeford, group CEO of Euroffice, said:
“Christmas parties are a great way to end the year on a high note, especially after such a tumultuous year as this one. Employees and bosses all need the opportunity to unwind once in a while and a good party – big or small – can motivate staff, boost morale and help everyone relax. However, it’s worth exercising a bit of restraint, as our survey found that unwinding too much at the office party has created some embarrassing situations for many office workers.”
The Euroffice.co.uk research reveals that many a small business employee – and employer – has a track record of misbehaving at past office parties – 48% admitting to indiscretions including snogging the boss or a colleague, getting sick or passing out from drinking too much, making an inappropriate jokes, comments, speeches or toasts and even then getting into an argument or fight.
So be prepared this December as pent up emotions could be to the fore – particularly if you’re going out for a drink, the survey showing that the local pub is a likely place for many parties to start at or end up this year.
Euroffice.co.uk’s survey was conducted online from November 6 to November 16, 2009.