Survey: Some workers feel pressured to give co-workers gifts during holidays

National News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – LinkedIn surveyed 2,000 working professionals and 35% said they have felt uncomfortable because they received a gift from a colleague but didn’t have one for them.

The survey also found that 40% of those surveyed would be happy if their company had a policy stating employees aren’t allowed to buy each other holiday gifts.

Here’s a look at the full results:

  • Working professionals would most prefer (30%) their company host a lunch/gathering at the office during work hours, followed by a big party for the whole office (25%). Some (15%) would rather not do anything with their company during the holidays at all.
  • 47% of working professionals say their company is having a holiday party this year, and 76% plan to attend. They’re still split on if they love them (40%), have no feelings about them (45%), or hate them (10%).
  • 54% have 1-2 work events during the holiday season, though 35% say their company schedules zero work events during the holiday season.
  • 18% of professionals have made up an excuse to get out of attending their company holiday party. In fact, the more senior you are, the more likely you are to lie — 28% of Senior Managers and 33% of those making $160,000 or more have lied to get out of attending their company festivities.
  • Most professionals (55%) would wear regular work clothes to their company holiday party, 23% would add a small festive touch to their work clothes, and only 13% would go all out and really dress up. 42% of Gen Z and 38% of Millennials worry about what to wear to their company holiday party/outing, compared to 15% of Baby Boomers.
  • 71% limit the number of drinks they allow themselves at the company party/holiday outing, with most (52%) keeping it to 1-2 drinks and 31% fully abstaining.
  • 40% would be happy if their company had a policy that states employees are not allowed to buy one-another holiday gifts. 8% already have such a policy.
  • 35% of working professionals have felt uncomfortable because they received a gift from a colleague, but didn’t have one for them. Only 13% have felt uncomfortable because they gave a gift to a colleague, but didn’t get one from them.
  • 10% have been made uncomfortable by a gift from a colleague.
  • Gen Z goes the furthest with 74% having done some sort of holiday-related activity at work — writing out holiday cards (35%), making party arrangements or family activities (34%), shopping online during a conference call (21%), secretly napping at their desk after staying up too late taking care of holiday to-dos (20%) or claiming to have an out-of-office meeting so they could go holiday shopping (18%).
  • 34% of professionals have been given flexibility or time out of the office by their manager/boss to handle holiday to-dos, and while some schedule days off to take care of these tasks, others are staying up late, changing their work schedule or trying to leave early, burning the candle at both ends.
  • 28% of working professionals feel more distracted or unprepared at work during the holidays because it’s hard to stay on top of their work with all the other demands at this time of year, there are too many non-work holiday activities happening in their personal life, they’re just not as interested in work during the holidays, or are distracted thinking about having time off to recharge.
  • 16% actively engage 3-6 times a day with work emails or phone calls while out of the office during the holidays, and 6% do so 7-10 times a day.
  • 28% of working professionals use an out-of-office auto responder during the holidays, yet more than half say it doesn’t help them disconnect.
  • 51% of working professionals have been contacted by someone at work while you were on a holiday break, mostly (51%) because there was a quick/easy question or there was an urgent matter only they could address (46%). 27% have contacted someone from work on a holiday break.
  • 22% have had a holiday vacation request declined at work. Of those, 49% say its because their request conflicted with another employee’s request who asked earlier than they did, and 35% say their request conflicted with another employee’s request who had seniority.

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(This story was originally published on December 4, 2019)

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