Research by Willis Towers Watson has found that Christmas parties and perks are becoming a rarity in the UK, finds Kimberley Dondo


It seems that the Grinch may not have stolen Christmas but instead nabbed office Christmas perks. According to research by Willis Towers Watson, less than a quarter (24%) of UK companies are planning to throw an office Christmas party and only 15% of companies are giving out Christmas bonuses.


Yet, this has not deterred the British workforce with six out of ten (61%) workers sustaining productivity throughout the Christmas period, almost one in three (31%) working until Christmas Eve and just under a fifth (18%) planning to be in the office throughout the Christmas period.


Tom Hellier, director at Willis Towers Watson comments: “The research’s overall message is that employees are not taking the foot off the pedal this Christmas, with most remaining productive and many working through the festive period. This perhaps reflects the nature of work in the UK, changing working patterns and an increase in the number of companies with a global footprint.”


It appears that companies are not looking to reward their employees hard work as a mere 5 have festive drinks in the office and only one in 10 (13%) employees will receive presents from their employers. Additionally, even the Christmas party tradition seems to be dwindling, with just under a quarter (24%) of companies throwing an office party for their employees this year.


Employees do not seem to expect much from their employers when it comes to festive perks with over a quarter (28%) suggesting extra days off or 31% who would appreciate incentives at work such as Christmas bonus scheme, vouchers or presents.


“It may not always be practical or affordable to give employees time off, but our research clearly shows that a flexible approach, allowing people to start earlier and finish later or vice versa, can really make a big difference at this time of year,” Hellier advised. “Even a small gesture such as mince pies, can go a long way in supporting your company’s morale. “