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Employees expect bosses to stump up £150 minimum per head on the Christmas bash

Contributor: Rebecca Kelly, Co-Founder - VenueScanner |

UK office workers expect their employers to spend at least £150 per head on their Christmas party – in a hotel or private members club – according to new research. Contributor Rebecca Kelly, Co-Founder – VenueScanner.

The survey, conducted by venue booking platform VenueScanner, found that 74 percent of corporate employees are looking for their bosses to splash out, as well as over half of office workers (54 percent) admitting they’d be disappointed with any venue other than a private members club or hotel.

There is little debate over when the office party should be, with the vast majority of workers (89 percent) preferring it to fall on a Friday, despite over half (53 percent) having their celebrations on a Thursday last year. Friday and Saturday (favoured by one in 10) are respectively the first and second most expensive days for venue hire, which explains why only one in five (21 percent) had their Christmas do on a Friday last year.

A staggering 71 percent of employees were dissatisfied with their work Christmas parties last year, so much so that they opted to leave early. A prime reason for this was the food served – eaten by less than a third of employees (29 percent), and having to pay for booze at the party (49 percent), with nearly every employee (93 percent) expecting a free bar throughout the night.

The research also found that an impatient 88 percent of employees won’t willingly travel more than an hour to the Christmas party, and of these, a third (32 percent) will refuse to travel a second over ten minutes – putting real pressure on bosses to find the right venue.

Rebecca Kelly, Co-Founder of VenueScanner, said: “The pressure is really on employers to deliver an impressive party at the right venue. However, we have discovered that all employees really want is free booze, a fun night close to the office, and some good food.

Employers shouldn’t worry about bankruptcy just yet as there are numerous ways to deliver a high-quality event that appears more expensive than it really is; you’d be amazed at how quickly you can “spruce up” a blank canvas venue or the upstairs of a quirky pub. The secret is to think strategically about where to place your funds. Shopping around for hidden gem venues is a great place to start.”