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Mistletoe and Whine

HR experts Croner, part of Wolters Kluwer UK, are telling bosses to stop worrying about the dangers of the Christmas work party because almost two-thirds of workers (63%) would prefer not to be there anyway.

​Two-thirds of workers prefer to be anywhere but the Christmas work party

HR experts Croner, part of Wolters Kluwer UK, are telling bosses to stop worrying about the dangers of the Christmas work party because almost two-thirds of workers (63%) would prefer not to be there anyway.

In a YouGov survey of 1,209 British workers commissioned by Croner, 43% of respondents said that work Christmas parties are okay but they would rather be somewhere else. Whilst one fifth of workers (20%) said that they are awful and they’d do anything to avoid it and if they do go they can’t wait to leave.

The main reason for this un-festive behaviour is a reluctance to let their hair down with their work mates, with 41% of those that think Christmas parties are awful, preferring not to socialise with colleagues outside of work.  Respondents also cited that they are reluctant to get involved in office gossip (11%), that it costs too much (12%) and that they have had bad experiences at Christmas work parties in the past (12%).

Jo Pitts, Employment Advisor at Croner says: “Employers have been stressing out over the last few years about the dangers of holding a Christmas party, but what the survey has highlighted is the fact that few employees these days enjoy them.”

The findings of the survey also highlight that organised big Christmas work bashes are becoming a thing of the past. When asked what type of Christmas celebration/party employers should offer, just under a third (32%) said an organised company Christmas party.

Jo comments: “Calls to our helplines on work Christmas parties are increasingly relating not to the pitfalls of holding a party, but alternatives to organised events. Many businesses are now culturally diverse and big bashes may not appeal to the entire workforce.

“Employers wishing to thank their employees for their efforts throughout the year are looking for suitable alternatives which meet the needs of all employees.

“Departmental parties or offering set amounts of money to employees – say £20 – so that employees can celebrate with the colleagues they want to in a way that they want to, such as lunch in a local restaurant are just two examples.

“We would suggest that employers, where possible, liaise with their employees to find out what their preference would be and then look at what options are available which meet the needs and resources of the business.”

Jo adds: “There is of course still a risk involved with these types of events, however common sense should prevail and if guidelines are pointed out well in advance – your Christmas celebration, if you and you’re employees decide to have one, should be happy and trouble-free.”

Notes to editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,978 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23 and 26 November 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Wolters Kluwer Law & Business and Wolters Kluwer UK
Wolters Kluwer UK is part of the Wolters Kluwer Law & Business group. Wolters Kluwer UK incorporating the core brands, Croner and CCH, is the UK’s most respected provider of business information and consultancy services, providing a range of smart information tools that help make businesses more effective and profitable; from online interactive content to advisory services, liability insurance and professional journals, Wolters Kluwer UK meets the full range of customer needs for compliance, risk management and productivity solutions.

Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is a leading provider of research products and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal and business professionals. The unit is part of Wolters Kluwer. Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company with 2006 annual revenues of €3.4 billion and approximately 18,450 people worldwide, and maintains operations across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. For more information, visit