What is Christmas in the office without Secret Santa?! Why there’s a chance that this tradition could be banned…
This workplace tradition is so ubiquitous that a quick search for the best gifts reveals 196 million results. Even the broadsheets are participating, with lists of items you can snap up from less than £10.
What’s more, there are guides dedicated to the Dos and Don’ts of picking gifts for your colleagues alongside websites that help you auto-generate your Secret Santa names…even to the extent of helping you to avoid previous picks!
Bearing all this in mind, why could Secret Santa become endangered?
It turns out that more than 1/4 of younger employees are struggling to afford such office celebrations and ‘whip-rounds’.
It’s not just the Christmas gift sharing that proves a problem, as many employees are participating in 15 celebratory spends a year.
Birthdays are costing employees the most, with an average of 5 annual contributions per person.
This all tots up to an average of £99 spent on colleagues each year…or £4,667 across a working lifetime!
Millennials are also experiencing the biggest spend, with 17 celebratory contributions amounting to £151 a year and £7,111 throughout their careers.
Consequently, 1/5 of employees say financial contributions should be banned at work. This rises to 35% among millennial respondents.
Will we really say goodbye to the tradition?
There are clear benefits to workplace giving. Employees believe these include:
- Showing ‘respect and appreciation’ (64%)
- Morale-boosting (61%)
- Creating a ‘healthy rapport’ with colleagues (60%)
For these reasons, it looks unlikely that Secret Santa will become endangered anytime soon.
However, some offices may find other ways of helping younger and/or less affluent employees participate in office traditions.
One idea is for business owners to create budgets for these celebrations – an idea that more than 1/5 of employees welcome. Other recommendations include the chance to opt-out, alongside clearly defined spending limits.
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