Holiday Blues Hit Office Parties This Year  Credit: Dreamstime.com

Many businesses may not be decking the halls this holiday season. In fact, more than half aren’t even planning to hold holiday parties this year, research from staffing firm OfficeTeam reveals.

The news will come as a disappointment to many. More than three-quarters of those surveyed who have had a holiday party in the past gave the festivities high marks.

Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, said for many professionals holiday parties offer a rare opportunity to get to know managers and co-workers on a personal level in a more relaxed environment.

"Businesses that aren't able to organize formal year-end celebrations can plan inexpensive, cheerful get-togethers to celebrate recent successes," Hosking said. Holding casual, nondenominational events also helps to keep staff motivated."

OfficeTeam offers several tips for companies searching for a ways to hold a frugal, yet festive, holiday party, including:

  • Breakfast or lunch: Offer an in-house catered meal or get together for lunch at an informal restaurant rather than holding an evening event at a fancy location.
  • Get jolly in January: Hosting a celebration during an off-peak month like January may be less expensive, and it's a great way to kick off the year. Venue costs also may be negotiable for midweek or during the day.
  • Spread good cheer:Schedule a potluck and include activities such as a white elephant gift exchange or office holiday decoration contest.
  • Get out of the office: Organize a group activity like bowling or miniature golf to provide employees with an opportunity to mingle outside of work.
  • Embrace the spirit of giving: Hold a holiday donation drive as part of your festivities or gather a team to volunteer at a local nonprofit organization.

The research was based on surveys of more than 1,000 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, as well as more than 400 working adults who are employed in office environments.

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