UK workers won’t miss the office Christmas party hangover, walk of shame, dad dancing or lame food, according to a new poll.

Friday 18 December was ‘Mad Friday’ – the most popular night for office Christmas parties in the UK – but due to Covid restrictions traditional staff festive celebrations are cancelled.

Far from being disappointed, almost half of UK employees have revealed they are happy to miss the annual ‘staff do’, reveals a new YouGov poll.

The walk of shame, a shocking hangover, the stress of getting dressed up and embarrassing dad dancing are just some of the things they won’t miss, according to the study of 1000 UK employees by Appreciate, home of Love2shop.

And given the choice between an office Christmas party or £50, 9 in10 said they’d be happy with the cash.

Fortunately, HMRC’s Trivial Benefit allowance enables businesses to gift £50 to employees tax-free, allowing companies to save £33.68 per basic tax-paying employee (£48.10 for higher rate tax payers).

The research conducted with 1,002 British employees by YouGov revealed that 46% don’t want a company Christmas party at all this year, compared to 24% who do want one.

Even post-Covid, British employees are not keen on a postponed ‘Christmas do’ – 51% said they wouldn’t attend compared to 36% who would consider it next year.

When asked how employees would spend the £50, almost one in four (23%) said they would save it and 17% would put it in their Christmas fund.

A romantic 11% said they would spend it on a night out with their partner, whereas only 5% said they would spend it on a gift for their kids. Interestingly, 7% said they would spend it on themselves and not tell anyone.

Avoiding the dreaded office Christmas party hangover (21%) was the biggest perk of traditional in-person celebrations being cancelled this year, followed by avoiding ‘bad behaviour’ including dad dancing, chatting up a colleague and telling regrettable home truths (8%).

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Group, said: “In the challenging economic climate it does not surprise us that 9-in-10 employees would rather have a £50 gift instead of a Christmas party. The HMRC Trivial Benefit allowance enables such a £50 tax free gift to employees, so this could be a win-win for both bosses and workers.

He adds: “This demand for financial incentives is reflected in our own business. Since July we’ve seen a doubling in demand from companies wanting gift cards to reward their employees. Incentives such as cash or a contactless gift card or reward are clearly more appealing since they give workers the freedom to spend as they wish and to treat themselves or loved ones.”

To find out more about how Appreciate, home of Love2shop can help business reward staff and customers go to: https://www.appreciate.co.uk/corporate-christmas-gifts/

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.