Employers spend £17 per employee at Christmas parties

Time and money spent on Christmas parties, personal presents and colleagues’ Secret Santa gifts whilst at work is costing UK businesses a sizeable £10.7bn, according to new research.

Managers budgeting for the Christmas party are said to put aside approximately £16.84 per head.

The Bah Humbug study from leading online job board CV-Library found that the office Christmas party takes up 52 minutes of the working day per person. It also found that employees spend roughly 75 minutes over the Yuletide period researching and buying presents and Secret Santa gifts whilst at work.

Bosses surveyed indicated that employees lucky enough to receive an annual winter bonus would be awarded an average of £546.10, considering companies of all sizes. While only an hour taken out for the party may not look like much, when adding up the time and money spent on all festive activities for full-time working Brits12, this is costing UK businesses £3.78bn.

Each bank holiday, taken by 97% of workers, is estimated to cost the UK £2.3bn, and there are three over Christmas, that bill rackets up to £10.68bn.

Some 80% of Britons believe that the time and money spent on various Christmas activities while at work is worth it to bring teams together and celebrate the year’s success. Economists have always struggled to put a value on happiness, but psychologically the Christmas period plays a critical role in preventing burnout and exhaustion5.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments: “Despite the clear costs on businesses, Christmas provides a much-needed reward for employee and team morale.”

“Fond traditions such as the office Christmas party and slightly newer ones like Secret Santa allow for teams to bond and relax after a (hopefully) hard-working year. Just make sure that productivity doesn’t take too much of a slip under all that eggnog.”

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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