Festive costs to UK businesses revealed

The office Christmas party soon tots up in money.
The office Christmas party soon tots up in money.

Time and money spent on Christmas parties, personal presents and colleagues’ Secret Santa gifts whilst at work is costing UK businesses a sizeable £10.7 billion, according to new research.

The ‘bah humbug’ study from leading online job board CV-Library found that organised festive fun, like the office Christmas party, takes up 52 minutes of the working day per person.

It also found that employees spend roughly 75 minutes over the Yuletide period researching and buying presents and Secret Santa gifts whilst at work.

Business bosses that were surveyed indicated that employees lucky enough to receive an annual winter bonus will be awarded an average of £546.10, considering companies of all sizes.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library said: “Despite the clear costs on businesses, Christmas provides a much-needed reward for employee and team morale.

“Fond traditions such as the office Christmas party and slightly newer ones like Secret Santa allow for teams to bond and relax after a (hopefully) hard-working year.

“Just make sure that productivity doesn’t take too much of a slip under all that eggnog!”

Managers budgeting for the Christmas party are also said to put aside approximately £16.84 per head.

Individual cost per employee was calculated by looking at the average UK salary (£27,271), the number of full-time employees in the UK (£32.06m) and then looking at the cost of each festive activity – e.g. time spent researching presents, Christmas bonus etc.

Whilst only an hour taken out for the party may not look like much, when adding up the time and money spent on all festive activities for full-time working Brits, this is costing UK businesses £3.78 billion.

Cost of £3.78 billion calculated by first working out cost per employee for buying personal Christmas presents, office Secret Santa, time for office Christmas party, cost per head for party and annual Christmas bonus.

If you then factor in that each bank holiday, taken by 97% of the workforce, is estimated to cost the UK £2.3 billion, and there are three over Christmas, that bill rackets up to £10.68 billion.

However, the vast majority of Brits (80%) believe that the time (and money) spent on various Christmas activities whilst at work is worth it to bring teams together and celebrate the year’s success.

Economists have always struggled to put a value on happiness, but psychologically the Christmas period plays a critical role in preventing burnout and exhaustion.

For more information about CV Library, please visit: https://www.cv-library.co.uk.