Survey: Boss will pay for work Christmas party but receive no gift

Seven out of 10 people surveyed in a national poll by the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) believe the boss should spring to cover the cost of the staff Christmas party as the workplace starts to wind down for the end of another year.

The end of year workplace Christmas party is one of the biggest domestic hospitality spends on the calendar with spending at restaurants, cafes and function spaces surging $300 million in the weeks leading to the Christmas holiday break.

Nearly 50 per cent of the 1,002 respondents surveyed believe the boss should pay for just the food and drink at the workplace Christmas party but one in five people believe their employer should throw in a free taxi ride home.

“The office Christmas party is that great annual opportunity to celebrate another year of achievement in our personal careers and the time we share with our colleagues, many of which grow to be our very good friends and even an extended family,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“Anyone who has tried to book a venue for the workplace Christmas party knows it can be next to impossible to find a table if you haven’t gotten in early – so get calling before it’s too late.

“The workplace Christmas party is a $300 million boon for the hospitality sector which is a crucial segment of Australia’s domestic and international tourism industry.”

When the party is over, cars (29.8%) and taxis (29.3%) are neck and neck as the most popular way to get home, followed by catching a train (14.3%) and the good old-fashioned walk home (11.7%). Interestingly, new car-sharing services such as Uber (6.1%) is taking a backseat to the traditional post-Christmas party transport.

“With lots of people driving themselves home after the work Christmas party, I hope they are doing so responsibly. Employers take their obligations to provide a safe workplace seriously and that includes people getting home safely after a works function.

“If you are letting your hair down, taxis and public transport are the alternative to driving and ensuring you get home safe and sound after a big night out with colleagues.”

But the boss shouldn’t be holding their breath if they expect their generosity to be rewarded with an avalanche of office Christmas gifts. Just one in three workers are planning on getting the boss a present for this festive season but a quarter of those people feel obligated to do so.

“The spirit of giving it seems ends when you get around to the boss with a clear majority (64%) indicating their employer doesn’t make the cut on the Christmas present list this year.”

“For employers, the smiles and laughs at the office Christmas party is probably all the gifts they need from their staff this festive season.”

Workplace Christmas Party Survey Results

Question Result
Which statement best describes your attitude towards workplace Christmas parties?  
My employer should pay for everything, including food and drink and taxi to go home 22.4%
My employer should pay for food and drink but not my transport home 48.1%
My employer should not pay for anything 8.3%
I do not believe workplace Christmas parties are appropriate 21.2%
Which statement best describes your intentions for getting home from workplace Christmas parties? (tick all that apply)  
They shouldn’t happen 9.4%
Private car service (limousine service, ride-sharing service like Uber) 6.1%
Taxi 28.3%
Bus 8.9%
Train 14.3%
Ferry 1.5%
Walk 11.7%
Bicycle 1.6%
Drive my own car 29.8%
Sleep at the office 1.5%
Other 13.2%
Which statement best describes your attitudes towards buying your boss a Christmas present?  
I’m happy to do it 26.1%
I do it because I feel it’s expected of me 9.9%
I don’t do it 64.0%