December is here, meaning that Christmas festive season is just around the corner. Christmassy holiday atmosphere can be found almost everywhere, including in the workplace.
Recent Randstad US survey explored employees’ attitudes and preferences about the holiday season in their office. It found that for some workers, holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year as they can take a break and relax from daily routine. But for others, the season often comes with uptight outlooks towards the annual company event at work.
When it comes to the best thing about holidays in the workplace, majority employees (70 percent) said they loved getting ‘time off’ from work, while one-third employees (34 percent) looking forward to get a bonus. Meanwhile, familiar workplace holiday traditions such as cookie swaps (11 percent) and gift exchanges (9 percent) were on the lower priority.
Additionally, ‘holiday spirit in the workplace’ (54 percent) and ‘happier/more generous co-workers’ (41 percent) were highly favoured, and nearly 75 percent respondents said it was important that their companies participate in holiday philanthropic initiatives like food drives or other charitable donations.
Such findings suggested that when it comes to celebrating holidays in the workplace, employees more appreciated and valued the relationship and opportunities to connect with their colleagues and communities rather than mere structured celebrations.
The survey, involving 1,232 respondents across the US, revealed that while most employees are neutral about holiday parties, parties are not their holiday gift of choice. Overwhelming 90 percent said they would prefer receive bonus or extra vacation days than a holiday party. 62 percent respondents agree that they feel obligated to attend their employer’s holiday party, but younger employees (aged 18 to 34) feel more pressure to attend such event.
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On the positive note, 77 percent said their company is sensitive to diversity and inclusion and taken into account different religious beliefs and cultures when planning holiday celebrations. Meanwhile, 34 percent employees said their company provides a year-end bonus to all employees.
Randstad also found that despite employees’ enthusiasm towards their company’s philanthropic initiatives, they might not feel the same towards sharing with their colleagues. 28 percent workers said they feel obligated to buy their boss a holiday gift, while 61 percent said they do not give out holiday gifts in the workplace.
For most employees, having holiday means taking time off to spend with family and friends. 62 percent employees plan to take vacation during holiday season, but 52 percent said their company gives no additional time off around the time. Interestingly, 28 percent admitted they used paid sick days instead of their vacation time at the end of the year.
However, the survey also revealed that work remains on their minds, such as checking work-related emails or even planning their next career move as their New Year resolution. 63 percent said they still check emails when on vacation, and 31 percent said they check in with the office because it will make them appear more diligent. Nearly a third of respondents admitted to job searching or exploring during the holidays as it is usually less hectic this time of year.
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