Holiday parties are growing, and so are embarrassing employees

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to show your employees some love?

Almost 90 percent of companies will host a holiday party this year, up from its lowest point of 81 percent in 2008, according to global executive search firm Battalia Winston. In 2015, 85 percent of companies were having holiday parties.

And it’s probably because of how great things are looking for the new year. Sixty-four percent of companies say they’re looking to grow and hire in 2017. Half of the companies are hosting parties to boost employee morale and celebrate a successful year. It seems as though holiday parties aren’t going anywhere, either.

“Ninety-three percent of respondents said that regardless of company revenue, their company’s holiday party would be the same as – or even better than – the previous year’s,” the report says. This is only one point higher than last year.

While 40 percent of parties will be at restaurants, one-third will be held at the office. And you know what else will be there? Booze.

Alcohol At Work

Most parties — 65 percent — will serve alcohol, which is the lowest on record since the study started in 1988. But this means it’s prime embarrassment time for workers under the influence.


Bloomberg says consuming too much alcohol is one of the biggest offenses employees will commit during the office party this holiday season.

“The calendar is not the American worker’s friend this season, as there will be a sharp decline in paid days off with both holidays falling on the weekend,” says Molly Huie, Manager, Surveys and Reports, Bloomberg BNA. “Fortunately for employees, more than three in four companies will provide an opportunity to let loose and burn off some steam from the past year with a holiday party.”

With two-thirds of companies serving alcohol, it’s much more likely that employees will do something they probably shouldn’t, including consuming too much, offending a co-worker, or even flirting with others. Keep in mind that it’s not just the employees — bosses are on tap to make fools of themselves, too.

But that may not even be the worst news of the holiday. Bloomberg says 31 percent of companies will have at least a few employees on duty over the holidays. The better news is that those that are working are in public safety and service workers, so they all have our better interest at heart.

Some better news may be the gifts employees are getting this year. Forty-one percent of companies will hand out gifts or bonuses to employees this year, ranging from $50 to $500. The giving doesn’t stop with employees, either: 63 percent of companies will do some level of charity this season. Some will sponsor community or charitable activities, like food drives, toy collections, and other types of donations.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Career and Business


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Article last modified on September 19, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: ‘Tis the Season for Partying - AMP.