Cost of Living Crises and Office Xmas Parties: Enjoying the Festive Period on a Budget

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‘Tis the season for office Xmas parties! But with the cost of living crisis, many employers are concerned about whether they or their employees can afford one. Below, we explore employers’ concerns and provide some tips on how to enjoy an Xmas party on a budget.

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Can Employees Afford Office Xmas Parties?

Worknest, the employment law and HR consultancy firm has recently published their findings about companies’ concerns over the festive period. According to their study, half of businesses throwing Xmas parties are concerned their employees won’t attend due to financial struggles. Moreover, 47% of companies aren’t having a work Christmas party, illustrating companies’ concerns about throwing festive celebrations amid the cost of living crisis.

READ: Unpaid Carers Continue to Struggle With Finances as 49% are Forced to Quit Their Job

As such, now is an opportune time for businesses to consider ways to throw such festivities on a budget. This will ensure the fun can continue without hurting everyone’s pocket. Therefore, below, we discuss Christmas party ideas that could help minimise costs whilst ensuring it’s a celebration to remember.

Xmas Parties on a Budget

Before even considering the current cost of living crisis, Christmas can be expensive for everyone. This means that companies may struggle to throw big Xmas parties, and employees may be unable to afford to go. So, we have provided some tips to help minimise the cost of a work Christmas party.

Discuss the Xmas Party

Prior to planning extravagant Xmas parties, it’s a good idea to understand what employees want. During such discussions, the event organiser could send surveys to get a feel for the celebration their employees desire. This could include:

  • Finding out the type of Xmas Party people want, whether that be a function night, meal or something else entirely
  • Learning if the attendees expect alcohol during the celebration
  • Discovering the budget employees can spend
xmas parties on a budget

Employers can better understand what employees can and want to do by discussing the event before planning it. As such, they can set an achievable budget that they should stick to, and that enables as many employees to attend as possible.

Shared Xmas Parties

Often, companies believe they must book an event exclusively for themselves. However, private events come with a premium price tag. Therefore, another solution to cutting the costs at Xmas parties could be to book a shared one.

In such circumstances, the event would be a shared space for multiple organisations to enjoy, with private tables available for each one. This can be great, as companies can still provide a big festive celebration for their employees without the significant expense.

Avoid the Premium Periods

The weekend is a logical time to host Christmas parties, but these are the most popular and pricey days. Therefore, planning an Xmas party mid-week could help save on the festive budget. If alcohol is involved, though, allowing the employees to start a little later the following day may be an idea!

Plus Ones

Many companies will allow their employees to bring plus ones to Xmas parties. This can be great for colleagues to get to know each other’s family and friends. However, the more guests, the more expensive the celebration will be.

READ: Not Following Return-to-Office Mandate May Hinder Career Progression, Amazon Tells Staff

Therefore, making the Xmas party exclusively for employees could put less strain on the budget. It could have other advantages, too, as it may encourage employees to bond with one another more.

Festive Food and Drinks

Going out for a nice meal could be on the agenda for many office Xmas parties, presenting an opportunity to cut costs. From reducing the number of courses to opting for a more casual buffet setting, carefully selecting the food on offer could make the celebration more budget-friendly.

Additionally, alcohol is a common offering at a work Christmas party. Again, expenses can be cut by providing drinks packages or tokens instead of a free bar. Not only will this be kinder to businesses’ budgets, but it will encourage employees to drink more sensibly.

In conclusion, Christmas is a time that many people love to celebrate, but with the current cost of living crises, many could struggle financially. Worknest has emphasised such concerns, with companies fearing employees won’t be able to afford Xmas parties. As such, we have offered some Christmas party ideas to ensure the festive celebrations can go ahead without breaking everyone’s budget. Just remember to plan an event that everyone wants and can afford and everyone will have a great time.

We hope these ideas help you plan your festive celebrations. To ensure you never miss employment tips and news, subscribe to our newsletter now!


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