Debunking the Office Christmas Party Myth

Every business has to throw an office Christmas party, or do they? 85% percent of employers believe that Christmas parties have a positive impact on staff morale and keeping a team motivated, but surveys have found that over 50% of employees “dread” the office Christmas party.

Why? Because it’s a busy time of year. Research done by Healthline discovered that 62% of employees found the holiday season stressful. According to MetLife it is the most stressful time of year for 42% of workers. During this time employees see increased demands in their personal life from having to set up Christmas dinners to buying the perfect gifts — the reality is that they don’t have much time on their hands. So, when the office Christmas party chews up a chunk of it, they might not be so happy.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Office Christmas parties have the potential to improve staff morale and promote socialisation amongst co-workers. They also help to build a company culture (more on that: here).

Now the question is, should you host one?



Factors to Consider

The main reason Christmas parties are dreaded by office workers is that their just too busy — so find out just how busy they are. An employee survey can be used during the December period to pick up on a myriad of things. This includes company strengths and weaknesses that can be used to shape your new year strategy, as well as the stress level of your employees. Use an employee survey to check on their stress levels during this December period.


When in doubt, it’s always best to simply ask. Yet, asking face-to-face may run the risk of biasing respondents (no one wants to look like a bore). If you plan to ask through an employee survey, ensure that this survey is fully confidential to achieve honest answers.

Also consider your company culture as a whole, and the dynamic between your employees. Do they maybe need that extra push to socialise?



Mitigating the problems with the office Christmas party

Below we’ve put together some changes you can make to your Christmas party to make it more appealing to employees:

  • Host it during office hours. Doing it this way helps alleviate stress by making the Christmas party a break from work, instead of something extra that your employees have to pencil into their calendar. It also helps to boost the number of employees attending. Employees that are busy can pop in during their regular hours while those eager to party can kick on into the night.
  • Host it after Christmas. It might seem counter-intuitive to have the Christmas party after Christmas, but December is just too busy. This way your employees can put aside the seasonal stress and relax in time for the party. Host it as a Christmas / Happy New Year’s crossover.
  • Give plenty of notice. No one likes surprises when it means cancelling other plans.
  • Host it on a Friday. If your Christmas party ends up a hit, employees may feel tired, sluggish, and not wanting to head into work the next day. Host it on a Friday so they don’t have to and avoid low productivity.

The office Christmas party isn’t necessarily a no-go, but employers need to be thinking about how they can change the structure of their party to suit everyone. As well as consider whether it is the right step for their business.



Checking if its right for your business

If you were thinking about using an employee survey to check if a Christmas party is right for your business, CiVS has you covered. Our employee surveys are fully supported, flexible and customisable.

If you’d like to learn more contact the CiVS team at or give us a call at (08) 6314 0580.