November 11, 2021

What do employees really want for Christmas?

Despite getting dangerously close to the festive season, a whopping 1/3 of employers still haven’t planned their Christmas party yet this year. So the question is: do you or don’t you? Here are the facts.

Last year’s lockdown in December meant the UK couldn’t celebrate Christmas as usual, which left many excited to celebrate properly this year at work and at home. However, with Covid cases still on our minds, and woolly guidance on how employers should manage this, you may be unsure of what to do when December comes around.

31.8% of employees have not been informed about their work’s Christmas party plans yet.

We’ve found out what employees really want for their festive do, and what other businesses are planning. Here are the key facts.

Evidence shows a work do is on people’s wish lists

HR Grapevine report that almost three quarters (72%) of people have come to realise the value of festive fun – saying that it allows them to bond with their co-workers. Furthermore, our recent survey shows 69.5% of employees are looking forward to an in-person Christmas do.

There is bound to be some disappointment this year, as only one quarter of employers are planning on hosting a party.

Despite 69.5% of employees looking forward to a party, only 25.8% employers are hosting one.

Covid is a concern for employers – but not employees

Out of the companies who’ve cancelled their Christmas party this year, over three quarters (77%) did so solely or partially because of Covid concerns. This contrasts with employees’ perspectives, as only 6.3% of employees were worried about attending a Christmas party due to potentially catching or spreading Covid-19. In fact, more employees (10.9%) were cautious about attending for other reasons.

So if your staff don’t care much about the virus, does this mean employers should worry less about Covid-19?

Well, in a word, no.

As an employer, it’s still your duty to take care of your employees, which includes minimising the risk of transmission. Of course, you can take your employees’ wishes into consideration when planning your party, and if the consensus is to have one, you can take measures to control the risk as much as possible.

What are the other options?

Last year, having virtual parties was popular as a means to still celebrate the occasion, but without the health and safety risks (and costs!) of a large work do. However, employers don’t seem to be considering this option as much in 2021, with only 2% having a virtual party this year, whilst 40.3% of people report their company are not having one altogether.

Alternatively, splitting up the big event into smaller parties, such as by department or ‘work bubbles’ could be effective to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 at the event. Out of employers hosting in-person parties, 21% are implementing this, with the remaining 79% having it company wide.

If you’d like more guidance on hosting a Christmas party, please read this other article from one of our HR experts, that runs through these decisions in greater detail.

Data from the Moorepay Christmas survey 2021, with over 1,000 participants.

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About the author

Karis Lambert

About the author

Karis Lambert

Karis Lambert is Moorepay's Digital Marketing Executive, having joined the team in 2020. Karis keeps our customers up-to-date with Moorepay's market-leading knowledge and advice by keeping our digital channels up to date, including the website and social media. Karis has a strong background across multiple aspects of digital marketing, including qualifications with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, which she brings to Moorepay to help communicate effectively with our valued clients.

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