Strategic HR

‘Tis the Season: Survey Reveals Cities with the Best and Worst Office Holiday Parties

When it comes to office holiday celebrations, not all parties are created equal. In a recent survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, workers from 27 major U.S. cities were asked to describe their company holiday parties and rate them on several factors. While 36% of overall respondents describe these celebrations as fun, the results show that attitudes on holiday festivities vary considerably by city.Holiday party

Most Fun Least Fun
  1. New York   1. Minneapolis
  2. Miami   2. Des Moines
  3. Los Angeles   3. Philadelphia
  4. San Francisco   4. Indianapolis
  5. Washington, D.C.   5. Cleveland
  6. Austin (tie)   6. Cincinnati
  6. Charlotte (tie)   7. Seattle
  6. Houston (tie)   8. St. Louis
  6. Phoenix (tie)   9. Detroit
10. Boston (tie) 10. Dallas
10. Chicago (tie)

 Popping the Bubbly?

Black-tie galas and festive ice sculptures may be a thing of the past—only 16% of workers polled said they’d categorize their company holiday parties as extravagant. The Big Apple hosts the most lavish soirees, the research found.

Most Extravagant Least Extravagant
  1. New York   1. Des Moines
  2. Los Angeles   2. Philadelphia
  3. Miami   3. Raleigh
  4. San Francisco   4. Cleveland (tie)
  5. Washington, D.C.   4. Indianapolis (tie)
  6. Houston   6. Cincinnati (tie)
  7. Charlotte   6. Minneapolis (tie)
  8. Boston   6. Salt Lake City (tie)
  9. Chicago   9. Seattle
10. Pittsburgh (tie) 10. Denver (tie)
10. San Diego (tie) 10. Detroit (tie)

Holiday Hangout or Smooth Career Move?

Professionals aren’t necessarily counting down the days until their company shindig. More than one-quarter of those surveyed (28%) described their holiday parties as obligatory.

Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam, advises workers not to skip out too fast. “A holiday party is a time to build camaraderie with coworkers and visibility with executives you may otherwise not typically have exposure to,” said Britton—in a press release. “Getting to know people on a more personal level can also make work more fun.”

OfficeTeam offers tips for employers who want to plan successful celebrations:

Tips for Employers

  • Ask for input. Survey your staff to see how people want to celebrate. Feedback on venue, food, and timing will get planning off to a good start.
  • Build a buzz. Get the word out early. Talk up the event with management in all departments, and don’t shy away from reaching out to employees, individually.
  • Get creative. A big budget isn’t the only way to throw a successful holiday party. Brainstorm unique ways to build camaraderie without breaking the bank.
  • Show appreciation. Employees want to feel recognized for their hard work. Incorporate an element into the festivities that shows your gratitude.

About the Research

The survey of workers was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,700 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in the United States.