The end of Secret Santa?

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.

Ready to increase your salary? Visit our jobs page to see where your next career step could take you.

Wondering whether you may get a Christmas bonus this year? Read this post next!



Young workers lead the flexible working movement

How younger professionals are driving the flexible working movement. Also featuring some of the latest flexible work news…

Over the weekend, The Independent shared an interesting post titled ‘Young workers are leading the way out of the office.’

It describes some of the current business trends for young professionals both in America and Britain. This includes:

  • Changing jobs for improved work-life balance (as opposed to a title change or step up the career ladder).
  • Prioritising flexible work opportunities; allowing employees to focus on other needs, such as their children, hobbies, and pets.
  • In fact, increasing numbers of employees are actually ‘demanding flexibility’ in their roles.
  • Requesting benefits such as paid paternity leave, ‘generous’ holiday allowance, the chance to work remotely, etc.

A mixed response…

Some may perceive this as a push towards less work or softer working lifestyles. However, proponents argue that this approach says ‘I will work harder and/or more’ if you support a more balanced lifestyle.

The article cites a number of reasons why younger employees are driving this work-life balance focus:

  • They’ve been born into a highly technological world in which they can see other ways of working rather than staying at one desk for set working hours.
  • Other lifestyle choices, such as marrying and babies, are happening later meaning they are ‘more invested’ in their career path by the time they make these decisions and, therefore, know what they want to ask for.
  • Millennials represent the first generation to observe large numbers of women, including family members, live professional working lives. Many have also observed the challenges their parents have faced due to ‘inflexible employers or unstable jobs’.

The piece also raises the notion that more flexible work and other work-life balance improvements could benefit all working generations – saying ‘change the system so we can all succeed’.

Also in the flexible working news…