By Maximilian Clarke

Less than half of UK firms are planning on holding a Christmas party this festive season, despite a widespread recognition of the boost for staff morale they can provide.

The Sage UK Omnibus surveyed 1000 SME’s from its 800,000 strong customer base and discovered that the number of companies holding a staff party has fallen from last year, when 48% threw a staff Christmas party. Of those planning on holding one, the average cost per head will be between £30 and £39.

“Despite widespread understanding of the importance of staff parties, it’s clear from our Omnibus research that with budgets under increased pressure and organisations continuing to keep an eye on their purse strings, Christmas parties are seen as a ‘nice to have’ option for many firms," said Leisa Docherty, People Service Director at Sage UK. "However, with staff under increased pressure, taking the time to celebrate the successes of the year is invaluable.

"Companies planning to not party as a team this festive season should try and reconsider, even low key events are invaluable for boosting staff morale. Here at Sage we will be holding Christmas parties across all of our main offices, as it gives us another way to thank our people for their hard work and celebrate the successes we have collectively achieved. In the lead up to Christmas, we lay on a full Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings in each of our office canteens so individual teams can celebrate with informal lunches and gatherings.’

The same research also revealed that 40% of companies feel optimistic about next year’s profits, it remains to be seen whether businesses will be able to put some budget to the party fund in the name of staff morale next year.

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