Number of Employers Planning to Spread Cheer in the Office Hits a Ten-Year High, Finds CareerBuilder's Annual Holiday Survey

Staff Report

Friday, December 15th, 2017

A record number of workers will see holiday cheer in the office this year as the most employers since the recession say they plan to give back - not only to their staff - but to charity as well. According to CareerBuilder's annual holiday survey, more workers and bosses plan to give actual gifts this holiday season, but unfortunately the gifts are not always remembered for the right reasons and most can be categorized as downright unusual.  

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll from August 16 to September 15, 2017 and included representative samples of 3,907 employees (of which 3,697 are in the private sector) and 2,257 full-time hiring managers and human resource professionals in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

With the strong economy and solid corporate profits, employers are finding different ways to ensure workers enter the holiday season with added cheer, including:

  • Parties: 71 percent of employers plan on throwing a holiday party for employees this year – up from 69 percent from last year and 61 percent in 2008.

  • Bonuses: 61 percent of employers plan to give employee holiday bonuses this year – up significantly from 54 percent last year and 38 percent in 2008.

  • Gifts: More than half of employers (55 percent) are buying gifts for workers this year – up from 46 percent last year and 33 percent in 2008.

Of those employers, 1 in 5 (21 percent) are planning to spend more than last year on their workers. But this can also depend on your employer, as 63 percent of male bosses are planning to give holiday gifts to workers, compared to 45 percent of female bosses.

Employers are also planning to give to charities. Over half of all employers (52 percent) plan to make charitable donations this year, up from 48 percent in 2016.

Co-Workers Are Still Getting into the Holiday Spirit this Season
While many will receive a gift from their boss this year, co-workers will also be in the giving spirit this holiday season. Twenty-two percent of workers say they plan to buy holiday gifts for their co-workers, and 22 percent plan to buy a gift for their boss, similar to last year's findings. Female workers this year are more likely to give gifts to colleagues (28 percent) than males (16 percent).

Of the workers who plan on spending on their co-workers or bosses this holiday season, 34 percent are planning to spend $10 or less on each gift, 59 percent will spend $11-50 and 6 percent will spend $51 and above. Fifteen percent of workers have given in the past, but this year will be unable to afford it. No matter what you are able to give this holiday season, make sure it is remembered for the right reasons. The following are among the most unusual gifts workers have received from co-workers during the holidays:

  • A coaster with their face on it

  • A nightgown

  • Chicken earrings

  • Coupons from a grocery store

  • Roasted grasshoppers

  • Saran Wrap

  • Jar of glitter

  • Party dip recipe

  • An ornament shaped like an engagement ring

  • Wooden cat statues

  • Used candles