Is the Office Holiday Party a Dying Tradition?

Nearly one-third of businesses will skip the traditional office party this year. Find out what is behind the decision.

Is the Office Holiday Party a Dying Tradition? Photo (cc) by Paul A Hernandez

The tradition of the office holiday party might be slowly dying off.

A majority of organizations — 65 percent — will host a holiday party for all their employees this year, but a growing number will not, according to a recent survey about holiday activities in the workplace.

For the survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 385 randomly selected HR professionals were polled.

This year, 30 percent of organizations are forgoing a holiday party, which is a 13 percent increase since 2012.

Evren Esen, director of survey programs at SHRM, explains in a news release from the trade group:

“The outlook for holiday cheer is promising. But for some organizations, parties are a thing of the past.

“They may have been cut initially because of tough financial times during the recession or because of other reasons. But the fact is that more organizations are saying they are not having parties than in the past.”

Esen tells Bloomberg Business, however, that only 6 percent of organizations are citing budget constraints as the reason for forgoing a holiday party this year — which is down from 20 percent in 2009:

“Maybe they realized that nobody seems to be missing these.”

Other holiday-party findings from the SHRM survey include:

  • 83 percent of organizations have a budget for holiday parties.
  • 22 percent of organizations will close early that day.
  • 67 percent of parties will be off-site.
  • Alcohol will be served at 59 percent of parties.
  • Prizes will be given to random employees at 46 percent of parties.

Will you be attending an office holiday party this year? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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