At Benefits Canada headquarters, the holiday spirit has been high for a few weeks, beginning with a holiday lunch at the end of November, enthusiastic employees decking out their desks in a bid to win a decorating contest and a holiday baking exchange featuring a treat-laden table in the office.
While there are a variety of ways employers can help raise employees’ festive feelings, a recent survey by staffing and recruitment firm Ranstad found just 54 per cent of employees look forward to the holiday spirit in the workplace. A much higher percentage (70 per cent) rank time off work at the top of their holiday wish list.
A separate survey by Chicago-based consultancy Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. found nearly 80 per cent of companies plan to host holiday parties this year. However, 11 per cent of respondents won’t hold a holiday party this year after holding them in the past. Among those companies that are hosting a party, nearly one-third will keep it on company premises. More than half are hosting the party during the workday.
So which workplace holiday activity do employees appreciate the most? Is the traditional Christmas party falling down the list in favour of simpler options such as a cookie swap, holiday desk decorating, ugly sweater days and potluck lunches?
Have your say in our weekly online poll here.
Last week’s poll, which asked whether economic volatility is a big concern for pension plans in 2018, found an even split among respondents. Fifty per cent said equity markets are a particular concern given the high valuations of late and that political uncertainty and questions about the economic environment generally could bring significant volatility in 2018. The other half of respondents disagreed, noting the recent positive data is in line with economic fundamentals and that, as a result, Canada and the world should be able to ride out any bumps in the year ahead.