Festive frugality: Some employers scale back holiday parties

Some U.S. employers are taking a more muted approach to holiday parties amid a challenging economic climate, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 12. 

While more companies are planning in-person holiday parties this year than last, many firms are ditching extravagance — think hotel ballrooms, roast beef carving stations and paid comedians or performers — in favor of quieter celebrations like in-office potlucks. 

Fifty-eight percent of employers are planning to host holiday gatherings during the workday, up from 48% last year, according to a recent survey of 200 companies from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Thirty-two percent plan to use their office space for parties, a 4 percentage point increase from the year prior. 

The scaled-back celebrations come as many companies grapple with inflation and interest-rate hikes, while others are trying to recover from layoffs in 2023.

The trend also reflects growing disinterest among employees, many of whom are hesitant to  attend events outside of normal working hours, according to a separate Journal report. A LinkedIn survey of more than 6,000 people found 55% weren't planning to attend their company's holiday party this year, according to the Journal

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