Businesses 'should not abandon the Christmas party'HR staff and employers have been advised not to sacrifice the annual office Christmas party this year in an effort to save money as the recession rumbles on.

Indeed, Jonathan Austin, founder and chief executive of Best Companies, said that seasonal celebrations were an important part of creating a workplace team culture – and it could also be said such a party boosts staff motivation and productivity.

He added that in light of the economic downturn, businesses did not have to spend as much money on this year’s festive event, but that not having one at all may be counterproductive.

“Whenever you can get a team together to celebrate, so that they feel like one team rather than small independent teams, they are going to have that sense of all working together on the big issues,” Mr Austin advised.

According to research by Best Companies, regular social events are important in maintaining a strong team spirit. Companies with strong track records in employee engagement and motivated staff report that they are keeping their Christmas parties, despite the downturn.