Christmas parties on the decline as attendees' behaviour comes under fire

A quarter of organisations will not be throwing a Christmas party for their staff this year, despite 66% of employees stating the annual event is a great way to build relationships with their colleagues.

A quarter of organisations will not be throwing a staff Christmas party this year (Creative Commons)
A quarter of organisations will not be throwing a staff Christmas party this year (Creative Commons)

The research, which was conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and involved a survey of nearly 2,000 employees, highlights that companies’ decision to avoid the festive celebration may be reflective of attendees’ behaviour at these events.

Over two thirds of respondents stated they had seen colleagues drink too much, meanwhile 30% admitted that they had experienced a hangover at work the following day.

Eighty per cent of those surveyed had witnessed inappropriate behaviour at their staff Christmas party. These included kissing a colleague (35%), shouting and aggression (30%) and rudeness (28%).

On a more positive note, 26% of employees felt that their work Christmas party has positively impacted their career, meanwhile two thirds of workers value the event as an opportunity to get to know their colleagues.

When it comes to funding Christmas parties, over half of the respondents stated that they are expected to help cover the cost of work festivities, contributing an average of £23.

The employers who have opted to host a Christmas party this year will pay an average of £35 per head.

Kate Cooper, head of research and policy at ILM, said: "Our survey shows people really look forward to their Christmas parties, both as an opportunity to develop relationships with people across an organisation and to celebrate and look back on the past year. So much so that many employees happily contribute their own money to make sure they can have a celebration.

"Christmas parties are an important and eagerly anticipated reward for staff and an opportunity for employers to show how much you value them, so they are worth investing in. However there are many potential pitfalls, mostly associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Taking care to limit the amount of alcohol available and to communicate the rules of behaviour will help ensure parties are a cause for celebration and not a headache for all."

Hire Space released its latest booking data this week, which revealed that Christmas party bookings have increased by 35% when compared to 2014.

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