The hybrid working model that has become the norm across workplaces, could be the reason for the mixed bag of Christmas parties being organised by companies this year. According to a new survey of UK workers nationwide, by Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communications company, 48% of those surveyed in Wales said there won’t be a workplace Christmas party this year, while 25% aren’t sure whether there will be a party or not, and only 27% said an office party is definitely being planned this year. This compares with the much higher national average of 36% who said their workplace is holding a Christmas party this year, and the lower national average of 37% who said there won’t be an office party.
Workers in Wales were most likely of those in any region to say the pandemic is the reason for them not being provided with a Christmas party (52%), followed by those in East Anglia (42%), the South East (41%), and the North West and Northern Ireland (40% each). Sadly 24% of Welsh workers said their workplace never has a Christmas party. A further 10% said their employer is donating money to charity instead.
Perhaps as a reaction to the pandemic, across all regions, among those who said they are having a Christmas party this year, 40% said it will be bigger than usual, while 41% said it will be same size as usual. However, in Wales 67% said their workplace party will be the same size as usual.
A sign of the return of confidence in meeting people post-pandemic is perhaps seen in the fact that of those Welsh workers whose company will be having an office party, 83% said it will be in person, 17% said it will be a virtual event, and 14% said it would both in-person and online.
Christmas Party Covid precautions in Wales:
– 50% said they can’t attend if they are showing any Covid symptoms
– 25% will have to take a lateral flow test beforehand
– 25% will have to sanitise their hands before entering the party
– 17% said that no Christmas party Covid precautions have been shared yet
– 8% will have social distancing in place at the party
– 8% will need to wear face masks
– 8% said there will be absolutely no precautions in place at all
The survey also asked workers what day their Christmas party will be held, and Friday was shown to be the most popular day in Wales: 50%, followed by Saturday: 8%.
Work Christmas parties seem to follow a very predictable formula: 33% of those surveyed in Wales who are having a Christmas party, said it will be an evening event with a three-course meal, or a dinner dance at a local hotel or restaurant, while 27% will have a traditional Christmas lunch at a local hotel or restaurant. A further 8% will simply have a Christmas lunch in the staff restaurant or canteen. A few Welsh companies are more adventurous, with 17% planning an outdoor event, and 17% planning an overnight stay.
Joanna Swash, Group CEO for Wrexham-based Moneypenny, comments: “After the last 18 months we’ve all had, with businesses working from home and experiencing high levels of stress from the pandemic, we think it’s really important to hold a Christmas party to bring everyone together. It’s a key event in the calendar here at Moneypenny and we can’t wait to celebrate with all of our people. This year we will be holding our party on Monday 20 December as we want it to be extra special and for it to feel very family like in the final week leading up to Christmas Day.”