A man is drinking champagne and talking to colleagues on a video call at a virtual Christmas party.
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Glassdoor: Employees want cash instead of Christmas parties

7 Dec 2020

In a Glassdoor survey of more than 2,000 UK employees, half of respondents said they wouldn’t attend virtual Christmas parties.

While the roll-out of vaccines is on the horizon and Government restrictions have eased slightly for the month of December, many businesses are still turning to virtual Christmas parties because of Covid-19. However, UK employees aren’t feeling too excited about remote celebrations, according to a recent survey from Glassdoor.

Last month, the company review site surveyed more than 2,000 UK workers about attitudes towards Christmas parties in 2020. It found that 60pc of companies won’t be arranging a Christmas party this year. Two-thirds of respondents said they hoped there wouldn’t be a party due to the ongoing pandemic and 58pc said they’d prefer to receive money from their employer to have a party at home.

In general, 43pc said they see work Christmas parties as a waste of time and money. More than half called them an excuse for people to get drunk, but a similar percentage said these events are important for company culture.

Even if in-person celebrations are put on hold, almost half of the survey’s participants said they wouldn’t attend a virtual Christmas party this year. This was mainly true for older employees, with 72pc of those over the age of 55 and 62pc of those aged between 45 and 54 saying they wouldn’t dial in to a remote celebration.

Joe Wiggins, EMEA director at Glassdoor, said that the “classic work Christmas party is dead for now”.

“Who knows if it will rise again in 2021,” he said. “Many employees clearly feel that some sort of virtual Christmas party is pointless and they would rather just have the cash instead. Of course, it’s up to each employer to decide what is right for them and what fits best with their culture and values.

“There is significant support though for a work party of some sort in 2021, regardless of the occasion, when the pandemic is losing momentum and people can safely socialise again.”

More than half (55pc) of survey respondents said a work party should be organised in 2021, regardless of the season, but only 45pc are confident that there will be a Christmas party next year.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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