Be There or Beware? - OfficeTeam Survey: Attendance Optional at Company Holiday Party, Most Executives Say

TORONTO, Nov. 17 /CNW/ - Will skipping the holiday party at work land you on the boss's "naughty list"? Not necessarily, according to a new OfficeTeam survey. More than half (54 per cent) of executives whose companies host holiday parties said there's no unwritten rule requiring employees to attend. But that doesn't mean staff should miss out on the merriment: Forty-one per cent of respondents indicated that making an appearance is expected.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 300 senior managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

Managers whose companies host holiday celebrations were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "It is an unwritten rule that employees should make an appearance at the holiday party." Their responses*:

Disagree.............................  54%
        Agree................................  41%
        Don't know/no answer.................   5%
                                              -----
                                              100%

        *Respondents to this question included 281 senior managers whose
        companies host holiday celebrations.

Managers also were asked, "In which of the following ways does your company typically celebrate the holidays?" Their responses*:

Off-site party......................   48%
        On-site party/luncheon..............   36%
        Office decorations..................   31%
        Informal gift exchange..............   18%
        Other...............................    1%
        Don't know..........................    1%
        Our company does not host
         holiday celebrations...............    7%

        *Respondents to this question included 303 senior managers.
        Multiple responses were allowed.

"Although many executives take a casual approach to holiday festivities and aren't concerned about attendance, some managers pay attention to who shows up," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Office parties come in a variety of forms, but nearly all offer the opportunity to get to know colleagues and executives on a more personal level, which can make work a little more pleasant and productive year round."

OfficeTeam offers five tips for making the most of the company holiday party:

1.  Mix it up. Mingle with coworkers outside your usual circle.
    2.  Work the room. Try not to monopolize anyone's time. Shorter chats
        allow you to meet more people.
    3.  Limit shoptalk. Don't focus on business the whole time. Come with
        conversation starters in mind, such as people's holiday plans or
        New Year's resolutions.
    4.  Don't be a grinch. Keep your discussions positive and upbeat. No one
        wants to listen to complaints. Avoid controversial topics such as
        politics, too.
    5.  End on a high note. Show your appreciation to the host and others who
        worked on the event by thanking them in person or sending an email
        afterward.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam is a leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 315 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

For further information: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com