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Is it the end of the work Christmas party?

The traditional work Christmas party could be dead following new research revealing that the majority of UK workers would prefer a festive financial bonus over a staff Christmas party.

Awkward small talk (45%) and annoying drunk co-workers were cited as two of the most-hated things about seasonal celebrations with colleagues, according to research by Love2shop.

83 per cent would choose a Christmas bonus or gift over a staff party, with over half (56%) not bothered about having a work celebration at all and almost a quarter (24%) saying they don’t like socialising with colleagues outside of work.

Workers say a £110 payment would be a sufficient alternative to a Yuletide soiree, according to the study, with 92 per cent saying they would at least like to be given a choice between the two.

Around one in five workers (19%) want to receive this bonus in the form of a gift card or voucher, the data shows. Just one in 20 Brits (5%) are lucky enough to get both a Christmas party and a financial bonus at Christmas.

The poll of 2,000 Brits revealed the average worker is forced to contribute £33 to fund their staff Christmas party to finance costs such as food, drink, and decorations.

Exactly half of UK workers (50%) generally do Secret Santa with their colleagues, with the average expenditure on a present amounting to £14.

Younger people aged 18-24 spend more than double the amount on their present than older co-workers, splashing an average of £23 compared to £9 for those aged 55-64.

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Love2shop said, “everybody has experienced a rise in their cost of living since the pandemic, so it’s hardly a surprise to see the work Christmas party become less and less of a priority as people struggle to make ends meet during the festive period.

“This should be a wake-up call for UK business owners to start listening to what their employees want – and that’s a financial bonus. The money that would otherwise go on a seasonal celebration could be better spent going straight into the pockets of employees.

“While the benefits of a cash injection in December are evident, employers should also note the knock-on effect it can have on their workforce, increasing morale and retention rates in the long run.”

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