The office Christmas party – for so long one of the major events in the business calendar, often eagerly anticipated and dreaded in equal measures – could soon become a thing of the past.
This is according to new research from Office Angels, the leading office recruitment agency, to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The study explores the likely evolution of working practices and culture within the UK over the next 25 years.
The findings reveal that dramatic changes to the traditional office environment are expected over the next 25 years as new technologies make remote working an increasingly viable option for both employers and employees. As a result, social interaction among colleagues will become increasingly virtual, posing a threat to many staples of traditional office life. Almost one in four employees expects the Christmas party to become a thing of the past within the next 25 years.
David Clubb, managing director of Office Angels, said, “Social events like office parties are more than just a way for people to let their hair down; they’re also a great way of thanking staff for their hard work throughout the year and boosting morale. They help to bring people together, so a move away from this kind of festive celebration would be a shame.
“This research shows that the way in which we work now is likely to be almost unrecognisable to workers in 25 years. It is imperative that businesses look at new ways to ensure that employees remain engaged in their job and feel connected to the culture and values of their employer, even if they aren’t turning up at the office at 9am every day.”
The survey found that older people are more inclined to believe that office Christmas parties will have been phased out by 2036, with 36% of 45-54 year olds and 33% of those aged 65+ saying they will no longer be a fixture in the company calendar.
Younger people are more optimistic, with just 14% of those aged 25-34 thinking that Christmas parties will have all but disappeared.
Scottish and Northern Irish employees are the most likely to believe that Christmas parties will no longer take place in 25 years’ time (at 38% and 31% respectively).