Whether you like it or not, Christmas party season is upon us and in full swing. Opinions are mixed on festive celebrations in the company of colleagues, and while the majority are up for a work party, over a quarter (28%) would rather an afternoon off to themselves.

With talk of festive celebrations around the country being as much as a hot topic as the prime minister, Randstad, the world's leader in recruitment services surveyed 1,300 UK jobseekers* to find out if work Christmas parties are really what  the nation really wants, or if around 40 hours a week with work people is enough.

While over a third (34%) of the UK’s jobseekers are happy to go with the flow and celebrate with colleagues over prosecco, mulled wine and mince pies, the second most popular choice was to simply have the afternoon away from the festivities for some alone or family time.

The findings also revealed that a fifth of Brits are indifferent, with 20% responding that they could take it or leave it. There are a few Grinches out there however - one in ten would ‘avoid at all costs’, while another 9% feel like they have to attend, or at least show their face.

Festive celebrations at work may be marmite, and for those that are going, there are some unspoken rules to adhere to. There are stories out there about people that ended up in A&E wearing the CEO’s coat and in extreme cases, even have lost their jobs due to having maybe a little too much fun, at an event which should always be considered as an extension of the workplace.

Graham Trevor, HR Director of Randstad UK, said: “Festive parties aren’t for everyone, and certainly shouldn’t be compulsory, however it’s a nice little thank you to the employees who have worked hard throughout the year. Although an afternoon off may be appealing, I’m sure many would be disheartened if we ditched the annual celebration in exchange for an early finish.

“It’s also key to remember that work festive parties are to socialise and celebrate, and are technically an extension of the workplace, so rules do apply. A modern workforce is a diverse workforce, and not all employees celebrate in the same way at this time of year. With 2018 seeing many working harder due to a skills shortage and Brexit uncertainties, it’s no wonder that one in four are feeling the festive burnout.”

As the year draws to a close and many focus on festivities, the new year presents an opportunity for a fresh start and new job. For those that want to get in before the 2019 rush, Randstad, the world’s number one recruitment company has over 8,600 UK jobs available now at https://www.randstad.co.uk

Notes to editors

*Poll of 1,300 carried out on randstad.co.uk ‘Are you attending a work Christmas party this year?’

About Randstad
Randstad is the global leader in HR services and specialised in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential. We do this by combining the power of today’s technology with our passion for people. We call it Human Forward. Our services range from regular temporary Staffing and permanent placements to Inhouse Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions, including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement. Randstad is active in 39 countries around the world and has top-three positions in more than half of these. At year-end 2017, Randstad had 38,331 corporate employees and 4,858 branches and Inhouse locations. In 2017, Randstad generated revenue of € 23.3 billion and holds the world’s number one position in its industry since November 2018. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded. For more information, see https://www.randstad.com/.