How do workers like to celebrate the holidays with colleagues? A survey from OfficeTeam shows the traditional office party tops most employees’ wish lists. More than half (52 percent) of workers interviewed said their favorite work-related holiday celebration is a company party. Twenty-four percent would choose participating in a charitable activity with coworkers.
But the study also finds that employees are saying, “Bah, humbug!” to a few things: Inconvenient scheduling (27 percent) and boring activities (21 percent) were identified as the most disliked aspects of the office holiday party.
The survey of office workers was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 400 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.
Workers were asked, “In which one of the following ways would you most like to celebrate the holidays at work?” Their responses:
Off-site party: 27%
On-site party/luncheon: 25%
Charitable activity (e.g.,
donation drive, volunteering as a group): 24%
Informal gift exchange: 10%
Office decorations: 9%
I’d rather not celebrate the holidays at work: 4%
Don’t know/no answer: 2%
Workers also were asked, “Which one of the following, if any, is your least favorite thing when it comes to office holiday parties?” Their responses:
Inconvenient scheduling: 27%
Boring activities: 21%
Peer pressure to attend: 16%
Coworkers misbehaving: 15%
Coworkers dressing inappropriately: 10%
Other/don’t know: 2%
“Many employees look forward to the office holiday party because it offers a chance to unwind with colleagues,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “These celebrations can also be the perfect opportunity to recognize people for their hard work throughout the year.”
Hosking added, “To get everyone in the holiday spirit, party organizers should involve staff members in the planning process and discuss event dates in advance.”
OfficeTeam offers the following do’s and don’ts when planning holiday parties at work:
Don’t: Plan things just in the “nick” of time.
Do: Check venue and staff availability early on so everyone can reserve time on their calendars. If scheduling doesn’t work out during the weekends in November or December, consider holding the office holiday party during business hours or kicking off the new year with an event.
Don’t: Be a scrooge about sharing the details.
Do: Let employees know the dress code, directions and whether guests are allowed ahead of time.
Don’t: Assume it’s impossible to be frugal yet festive.
Do: Be mindful of your budget. Celebrations can be enjoyable and build camaraderie without breaking the bank.
Don’t: Have a party that’s fa-la-la-la-blah.
Do: Get employee input on location, activities and menu. Want to do something a little different than a fancy meal or white elephant gift exchange? Organizing a holiday donation drive or volunteering at a nonprofit organization can be a fun way to spread good cheer.
Don’t: Let holiday grinches ruin the fun.
Do: Generate excitement for the event in emails and the company newsletter. Also, encourage interested employees to help with planning and decorations. Don’t let the occasional no-show dampen your spirits.
Don’t: Leave anyone out in the cold.
Do: Keep celebrations nondenominational so everyone can take part in the merriment.
Don’t: Get “wrapped up” in shoptalk.
Do: Allow time to acknowledge employees for their accomplishments, but make sure activities aren’t all work-related.
Information for this article was provided by OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company and the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. More information, including online job search services and the OfficeTeam Take Note blog can be found at officeteam.com.
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