Workers say bah humbug to office party

A survey suggests 95% of workers would rather get cash than attend a Christmas party. What next?

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 15 Dec 2011
What’s that? The distant hum of 60 million Brits all shouting ‘bah, humbug’ at the same time? That seems to be the suggestion of a survey by recruitment consultancy Badenoch & Clark, which reckons 95% of workers would prefer Santa to bring them a big lump of cash, rather than having to endure – er, attend – an office Christmas party. To be fair to them, we’re not sure we blame them…

According to the survey of 1,000 office workers, the least festively inclined are the young, just 3% of whom are up for dancing the night away to the strains of Wham and Wizzard with their esteemed colleagues. The over 55s, on the other hand, are more than twice as willing as their younger colleagues to rave it up over the Christmas season. Geographically speaking, those in the North East and Scotland seem to be the most fun-loving, with 9% and 10% respectively saying they’d rather opt for a party.

It looks like a lack of funds isn’t the only thing on their minds: 90% said they’d trade their Christmas party for an extra holiday, while three quarters said they’d like a ‘present’ (office-issue present? Really?) and 73% just want the chance to leave work a bit early one day. Aah.

Now, clearly this is a bit of a ruse – after all, given most of the country has put ‘money’ (bold and underlined) at the top of their Christmas lists this year, ask anyone whether they’d like free cash instead of an evening of drinking cheap wine while trying to avoid the eye contact of their boss/Handsy Steve from personnel, and they’re bound to say yes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should eschew the annual festive gathering in favour of a lump sum. It’s still a great opportunity for employees to eat, drink, be merry and, most importantly, bond (not too much, mind).

Although to be honest, we’d imagine that this year, the majority of employees will having to forego both the annual Christmas party and any other little perks that they might once have had. So this may be something of a moot point…

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

How to use workplace conflict to your advantage

But beware the festering feud.

Efficient chickens, less stuff, more optimism: The real way to address climate change ...

What is dematerialisation, and why does it matter?

The 5 behaviours of charismatic leaders

How to become more inspirational (without having a personality transplant).

When should you step down as CEO?

Bob Iger's departure poses an unpopular question for bosses.

The death and resurrection of the premium customer

Top-end service is no longer at the discretion of the management.

What HS2 can teach you about project failure

And how you can prevent projects going astray.