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Avoiding the Christmas Party Hangover

The festive season is finally here, and so too is the office Christmas party season. However, though this is sure to boost morale, there’s also significant costs attached to this for UK businesses. Aside from the expenditure on the actual parties, Christmas party hangovers and sick leave taken as a result of partying too hard is costing UK businesses million each year.

According to a survey conducted by Aviva, 2.31 million UK workers called in sick after partying too hard or having an accident at a work Christmas do in 2009. The associated cost of this is around £216 million lost to UK businesses and the UK economy, according to calculations by the CBI. Almost a third of 18-35 year olds who participated in a similar survey conducted by Alka Seltzer admitted to calling in sick following a night of festive partying.

So, if you are thinking of throwing your staff a Christmas do this year, what can you do to avoid the associated costs? With cash flow often tight it’s hard to absorb the extra work load created by increased staff absence, especially during such a busy period of the year. We’ve got a few top tips for small business owners who want to avoid the Christmas party headaches.

1) Don’t do it on a school night

Having your party on a Wednesday evening might be your only option if you leave it until the last minute to book a venue. However, if you book in plenty of time and secure a venue on a Friday or Saturday night, your staff will be able to recover on their own time and you won’t be left to pick up the pieces.

2) Make your expectations clear

Before the festive party season starts, let your staff know what you expect of them and say that you expect them not to let down their colleagues by pulling the hangover sickie. This can also be a good opportunity to set out some ground rules for the party itself.

3) Give an incentive

This might include giving additional time off to anyone who comes in the day after the work party. This could be something as small as an early finish to let them get some Christmas shopping done, but it could encourage many people to suck it up and come in when they’re feeling less than stellar. This will mean you can stagger their extra time off and plan for it, rather than being uncertain about how many employees will be in the next day and being unable to plan ahead.

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