As employees in offices large and small don festive sweaters and prepare champagne toasts for annual celebrations, an increasing number of U.S. companies will forgo the usual holiday party. Nearly a third of respondents polled said they worked in offices that would not host a holiday party, a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, an HR membership organization, reports.
“They may have been cut initially because of tough financial times during the recession or because of other reasons,” Evren Esen, director of the survey program at the Society for Human Resources Management, said recently. “But the fact is that more organizations are saying they are not having parties than in the past.”
The number of human resources representatives who said their offices would not host a party was up nearly 13 percentage points since 2012, the same study reported. For those offices throwing parties, however, 45 percent of respondents reported a larger budget than they had five years ago.
Another survey, conducted in 2014 by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an executive outplacement firm, reported nearly 90 percent of all offices in the U.S. hosted holiday parties that year.
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The offices that have decided to throw parties, whether for reasons of morale or tradition, may look to some of the season’s trends for inspiration. Design experts recommended party planners embrace the season by using simple red and white winter color palettes while adding some flair with a sprig of holly berries on napkins or a centerpiece of decorative pine cones.
Office holiday parties are an often overlooked moment of the year where employees of all levels have the opportunity to mingle and make connections. These more laid-back gatherings are an excellent opportunity to network with people in the office with whom it's hard to get face time, a Forbes columnist suggested.