Office Christmas parties, where people down tools ahead of the winter holiday and celebrate another year grinding at the millstone with a massive blow-out involving tacky food, tinsel, Jaegerbombs, loads of beers and wines and cocktails and all sorts of debauchery, are leading to one in ten Britons being disciplined, or, in some cases, fired from their jobs.
Normally, when a heretofore unacknowledged annual event, like Halloween or Black Friday suddenly becomes a huge thing in the UK, we can blame the Americans. They make up this nonsense and they popularise it, right? The same can’t be said of the office party. These rowdy occasions are a firm British staple. And the havoc and devastation caused by an office jaunt has now been measured by hangover supplement AfterDrink.com which polled 2,194 people who all claimed to have attended at least one Christmas party.
With a whopping 89% of people saying they’d drunk at a Christmas do, two-thirds (65%) said they’d drunk too much booze at a work Christmas do, with a majority of this lot saying over-drinking had impacted their behaviour negatively.
And for 9% of all respondents, actions at a Christmas party had led to their dismissal or disciplinary action. When asked what this was in response to, 23% of those 9% said it was because they’d said something inappropriate, and 21% said it was because they’d got into a verbal or physical fight with a colleague or boss. 16% said they’d been caught doing drugs, 14% said it was because they’d been caught having sex with a colleague. A further 11% said they’d been told off/sacked for inappropriate behaviour such as nudity or lewd comments.
As for participants who asked to leave work shortly following the Christmas party, 8% had, with a whopping 29% putting this down to having kissed or had sex with a colleague who they couldn’t face working with anymore.
Post-#MeToo, post all of the above, are people still keen to get totally out of it at the Christmas party? Pretty much yes - 79% are still going to a Christmas party this year, and of those, 62% plan on getting drunk. Do we ever learn?