Office Parties Don’t Pay for Themselves

Staffing firm OfficeTeam recently polled company bosses and employees about their attitudes toward office parties, and found that the cost of partying on company time is often borne by employees.

In the survey, more than half of the managers interviewed said that employees are asked to contribute money – at least once a year — for staff celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries and baby showers.

While this may seem a bit mean-spirited on the part of bosses, the employees polled didn’t seem to mind. In fact, the majority of the employees polled said they were OK with chipping in occasionally.

However, managers should nonetheless be careful when dunning employees for money. To avoid hurt feelings, OfficeTeam has prepared these guidelines:


Ask everyone to chip in.

Make it mandatory.

Set a required dollar amount.

Put others on the spot.

Overdo it with the requests.


Ask everyone to chip in.

Reach out to those who are closest to the person being recognized. A new employee or someone who doesn’t work directly with the individual may feel awkward participating.

Be clear that contributions are voluntary. Some staff may choose to lend a hand in other ways, such as helping to plan or decorate.

Invite employees to donate whatever they are comfortable with.

Send an email and circulate an envelope for anonymous contributions instead of reaching out to each colleague individually.

Combine multiple occasions into monthly or quarterly office parties. This limits how often workers are asked to donate money, and your company may even help cover the costs.

These are good suggestions from OfficeTeam, and should go a long way toward making the process go smoothly.

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