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Companies scaling down holiday parties (iStockphoto)
Companies scaling down holiday parties (iStockphoto)

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Companies scaling down holiday parties Add to ...

The Grinch may be stealing the holiday party from more Canadian offices this year, and employers believe a majority of workers understand the need to cut costs, according to a new survey.

But you better watch out if you’re in one of the companies that does have a bash and you decide to skip it, a second survey suggests. Forty-one per cent of the 303 senior managers contacted by staffing service OfficeTeam said they agree with the statement: “It is an unwritten rule that employees should make an appearance at the holiday party.”

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While the rest of the respondents didn’t consider the party mandatory, it might be prudent to show up, because more employers are looking at the cost this year and weighing whether it is an expendable frill, a survey commissioned by the Human Resources Professionals Association found.

The poll by Harris/Decima of 892 Canadian organizations found that 39 per cent have decided not to have a party this year, because of economic constraints.

Employers in Quebec were most likely to keep up the office party tradition, with 64 per cent indicating they are having one this year. That compares with 56 per cent in Ontario, 50 per cent in Alberta, and 47 per cent in the Atlantic region.

Fifty-six per cent of the employers said they thought employees would be understanding if they found out the party was scaled back or cancelled altogether.

As for party venues, a majority of celebrations are going to be held in the office rather than at an external setting this year. Only 48 per cent of the companies polled by OfficeTeam are planning to have off-site parties.

“Although many executives take a casual approach to holiday festivities and aren't concerned about attendance, some managers pay attention to who shows up,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Office parties come in a variety of forms, but nearly all offer the opportunity to get to know colleagues and executives on a more personal level, which can make work a little more pleasant and productive year round.”

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