Most Canadian Employers Are Hosting Holiday Parties This Year, and Workers Should Probably Attend

Most organizations will host holiday celebrations to end 2018, with 25 per cent spending more on soirees than last year

  • 67 per cent of managers said showing up at the party is expected
  • The majority of Canadian professionals (73 per cent) do not give holiday gifts at work


Toronto, ON — How will holiday cheer be spread in workplaces this season? According to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam, 93 per cent of senior managers said their company will be hosting year-end festivities. Of those who noted holiday activities are taking place, respondents identified off-site and on-site parties (58 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively) and office decorations (39 per cent) as the most common plans.


When it comes to seasonal soirees, 25 per cent of organizations are planning to spend more this year, while only ten per cent anticipate cutting costs. Does that mean workers have to make an appearance at these events? No matter what the budget, 67 per cent of managers indicated there’s an unwritten rule employees should attend.  


View an infographic about holiday activities at work.


To Give or Not to Give?

Many professionals aren’t in the holiday giving spirit: Nearly three-quarters of workers (73 per cent) forgo year-end presents in the office. Of the 27 per cent who do offer presents, 21 per cent provide them to colleagues, and 14 per cent give one to their boss. The majority of those who give out holiday presents (75 per cent) do so because they want to, not because they feel obligated.


“Holiday events are a perfect opportunity for organizations to recognize their employees’ accomplishments throughout the year and give them something to look forward to,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for OfficeTeam. “Celebrations don’t need to be extravagant or elaborate to get workers in the festive spirit. Events that include a charitable focus and involve staff in the planning process can be meaningful and inspire team camaraderie.”


Vasilopoulos’s advice for workers? “While attending seasonal work festivities is typically encouraged, gift-giving is optional. If you do choose to give, remember that the thoughtfulness behind a present should matter more than its dollar value.”


About the Research

The surveys were developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 600 senior managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees and more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in Canada.



OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit Follow for career and management advice.