Archive for December, 2011

5 Surprising Stats About Office Holiday Parties

For those of us who slave away in office cubicles, the holiday party season is a welcome relief from the daily grind. That’s assuming, of course, that your company is actually doing a holiday party this year, and that it’ll be the kind of shindig you’d actually want to attend. Today’s parties aren’t like the big blowouts of yesteryear. Below, some of the more surprising stats about office holiday parties.

1. 68 percent of offices will have a holiday party
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That’s just about flat from last year, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. (And no, we did not make that name up, although we wish we had.) That’s still better than 2009, when only 62 percent of offices had parties. If those numbers sound pretty good, try working at a place that insists on business as usual during the holiday season. It’s basically one long exercise in futility, as you repeatedly try to explain to your boss that no one is calling you back, because everyone else is at a party.

2. 25 percent of parties will be booze-free
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Less whimsically named outplacement consulting firm Amrop Battalia Winston says that nearly a quarter of companies will stick to soft drinks this year. The good news is that it’ll be harder to embarrass yourself at this year’s holiday party. The bad news is that this is because there won’t be anything to drink but warm Sprite and your own tears.

3. 95 percent of companies will spend the same amount as last year
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Of companies throwing parties, 95 percent are planning to spend the same on this year’s party as they did on last year’s. Which sounds super, just as long as last year’s party budget wasn’t a couple of nickels and some pocket lint that the laundry missed.

4. 30 percent will throw this year’s party at their office
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Remember that swanky bar your company booked for the 2007 holiday party? We barely do either. This year, you’re much more likely to be partying at your office. Which feels sort of like when high schools throw a prom in their own gym, but is better than nothing, we guess.

5. 60 percent of parties will be employee-only
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Thinking of bringing your spouse to your office holiday party? Think again. Sixty percent of companies surveyed say that they’ll limit the holiday party to employees. But since you’re going to be dancing on your own desk while chugging soft drinks and pretending that the creepy guy from accounting is a convincing Santa Claus, perhaps this is for the best.

Images: 1. Collegesurfing.com, 2. TLC.howstuffworks.com, 3. Corbisimages.com, 4. Thegrindstone.com, 5. Poptent.net

6 Surprising Facts About Holiday Shopping From Office Cubicles

Holiday shopping takes all the fun out of gift giving. Even if you skip the lines and crowds of brick-and-mortar stores, you still have to deal with the time and expense of buying multiple gifts in the space of a month. It’s like everyone you know got married, had a baby, and had their birthday all in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Never mind the cash; there just aren’t enough hours in the day to plan for all these presents. No wonder, then, that many of us choose to do as much shopping as possible from the cozy confines of our office cubicles.

Fact #1: 30 percent of workers shop online at work
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This number seemed low to us, but maybe some people are just better at not getting caught than we are. In our experience, the boss will only come over to your cubicle if you’re on Amazon.com trying to buy a truly stupid looking children’s toy. You will then have to decide whether it’s better to explain that it’s not for you, or to pretend that none of this ever happened in the first place.

Fact #2: 60 percent of CIOs block access to shopping sites
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Here’s an explanation for that low number: 60 percent of chief information officers are actually blocking their employees’ access to shopping sites. As if that weren’t scary enough, 20 percent said that although they wouldn’t block access completely, they would monitor employees “for excessive use.” Excessive use being in the eye of the beholder, of course.

Fact #3: Fewer people will shop online at work this year
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Fifty percent of workers will do at least some shopping from work this year, as opposed to 52 percent in 2010.

Fact #4: The younger you are, the more likely you are to shop from work
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Fifty-seven percent of workers aged 25 – 44 will shop at work, while only 42 percent of workers aged 45-plus will do their holiday shopping from their desks. This might have something to do with generational ideas about responsibility, or maybe the older workers have an in with the CIO and know their internet use is being monitored. Really, your guess is as good as ours.

Fact #5: More people are shopping on their phone than ever before
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Mobile sales went up 7.4 percent this year. So maybe those wise older workers are just shopping on their smartphones.

Fact #6: Only 2 percent of employers say they’ve fired someone for online shopping
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The good news is that even if you do get called on the carpet for online shopping, you might ultimately get away with it. That’s because only 2 percent of employers surveyed said that they had actually fired someone for online shopping.

Images: 1. Impactlab.net, 2. Unblockfacebookinchina.info, 3. Jamiedunham.wordpress.com, 4. Fluffymocchi.wordpress.com, 5. Sheknows.com, 6. Stylecaster.com

The 6 Craziest Holiday Office Party Videos

We all know how important it is to behave ourselves at the office party. Get a little too crazy in your office cubicle, and you might find yourself ringing in the new year on the unemployment line. The only problem with planning to play it safe is that it’s super boring. Fortunately, the interwebs are chock full of people who did not take our excellent advice. Join us as we live vicariously through them.

1. Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend … Could Sing?

The problem with karaoke is that everyone thinks they sound amazing once they’ve had a few, and everyone’s wrong. You basically have two choices when it comes to office parties: Hold the liquor, or don’t rent a karaoke machine. Otherwise, don’t come crying to us when this video happens.

2. It’s Guys Like You, Mickey

This man has had a lot to drink. How much has he had to drink, you ask? Well, we don’t have an intoxication chart that shows at what point a person decides he should try to smoke a piece of tinsel, so we don’t know.

3. Hope He Sticks the Landing

According to this video’s title on YouTube, it’s another movie of a drunk guy dancing at a Christmas party. However, honesty compels us to admit that it looks a lot more like a drunk guy trying to do gymnastics at a Christmas party. If we had been in attendance, we would have written scores on our placemats and held them up when his friend showed up to drag him off the dance floor.

4. Christmas Drunk Office Party Bum Rub

This is the only time we’re preserving a video’s original title, because truly, it says it all. When you’ve had enough to drink to think it’s a good idea to rub your bum all over a disinterested coworker, you’ve had enough to drink, period.

5. The Self-Employed Worker’s Office Christmas Party

The only thing that stinks about working for yourself is that you don’t have the opportunity to embarrass yourself in front of your coworkers at the annual holiday party — or so we thought. This intrepid freelancer has created his own holiday party for one. (Well, OK, for one plus his kids.) Our favorite part is either when he sings the Chipmunk Christmas song into a mostly empty vodka bottle or when the credits roll at the end of the video. They read: “Employees, in order of appearance: Glenn Gray, as himself.” And that’s it. Christmas bonus for you, Glenn Gray.

6. Taught That Tree a Good Lesson

Listen, sometimes, after a pint or two, you look around your office party and notice that the Christmas tree is judging you. And when that happens, the only thing to do is to tackle the darn thing, knocking yourself out and spilling water all over the rug. Hey, listen, you don’t make the rules.