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A Quarter of All Office Holiday Parties in New York City are Considered Flops

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Christmas Office Parties in New York

The most special time of the year is approaching fast, and many businesses are now busy preparing for their Christmas office parties. These end-of-the-year celebrations are often regarded as an effective way of rewarding staff for their hard work, boosting employee morale, and starting a new year with a positive frame of mind.

However, some have claimed that corporate holiday parties are not as popular as they once were, and that in many cases they are below staff expectations and fail to fulfil their purpose. Seamless (an online food ordering and delivery company based in New York) surveyed more than 1,000 companies and asked them about their Christmas celebration habits and plans. The data they collected showed some interesting trends, which are summarised below.

Lower overall expenditure

One of the main conclusions reached following the survey is that the belt-tightening measures taken by many companies have also affected the overall expenditure allocated to their annual Christmas parties. There seems to be an increasing preference among employers to organise office parties on a budget, since approximately 42 per cent of all firms surveyed said they were spending less than $25 per person on their corporate Christmas event. In fact, only 10 per cent of companies spent between $51 and $100 / employee, and a further 20 per cent opted for a mid-range budget of $25 to $50 / person.

Open bars are no longer the norm

The Seamless survey also revealed that only 50 per cent of the companies interviewed were planning on including an open bar during their corporate Christmas party. In 2012, the percentage of no-alcohol office parties in the city barely reached 21 per cent, but two years later that figure had more than doubled at 44 per cent. Moreover, the survey revealed other data related to the type of holiday entertainment offered at end-of-the-year office parties: up to 70 per cent of the businesses surveyed mentioned there would be no dancing at their annual Christmas event.

Dinner options on a budget

Traditionally, one of the highlights of a Christmas office party is the opportunity to enjoy a special sit-down meal. However, and according to the survey carried out by Seamless, it appears that the Christmas dinner options offered by companies are moving towards more informal (and low-budget) choices. For example, while in 2012 nearly half of all surveyed companies offered a full sit-down dinner, by 2014 that figure had gone down to 41 per cent.

The survey also showed that instead of a formal dinner, businesses are increasingly opting for other types of holiday meals, such as potlucks, which accounted for 22 per cent of all responses. In particular, companies based in New York seemed to be the most likely to skimp on their Christmas dinner options, since 50 per cent of those surveyed said they would only serve finger foods.

Moving away from large venues

Another trend highlighted by the survey is the higher percentage of companies that choose to hold their Christmas party at the office instead of at a dedicated events venue. This figure was 35 per cent for New York companies, 32 per cent for those in Los Angeles, and 29 per cent for Chicago-based firms. Interestingly enough, celebrating an end-of-the-year party at the employer’s or employee’s home has been an increasingly popular option as of late.

Overall, the survey concluded that 25 per cent of all corporate Christmas and New Year celebrations were considered flops. But perhaps the data mentioned in this article should not be seen in a negative light. If anything, it points at interesting new ways in which companies and staff can successfully approach their annual Christmas celebration.




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