Brits Reveal: Office Christmas Party Icks, Saving and Splurging

Brits Reveal: Office Christmas Party Icks, Saving and Splurging

Read Time: 6 Minutes


30 Oct 2023

The Christmas party countdown is on!

Yes, it’s that time of the year again… The office Christmas party is just around the corner.

We surveyed over 1,000 UK office workers to get their thoughts on Christmas parties, the cost of living and of course their biggest icks. Discover more about what the UK’s biggest Christmas party turn-offs are and how the cost of living has changed our party habits with our latest research.


To Attend or Not To Attend?

We quizzed our survey respondents to see first and foremost if they’ll be attending this year's Christmas party at their workplace. A non-surprising 63% of respondents shared ‘Yes, I will be attending’ compared to 17% who shared ‘No, I will not be attending’ and 20% who are yet to decide.

We followed up by asking respondents if they actually like attending their work Christmas party. An admirable 81% of respondents shared that they like attending - it’s fun and they enjoy it. Only a small 7% shared that they don’t enjoy it and won’t be going, whereas over one in ten revealed that they don’t enjoy attending but feel they have to or that they’re obliged.


Top 10 Christmas Party Icks as Ranked by Brits

We asked our respondents to select their biggest Christmas party icks.

1. Overly drunk colleagues

Coming in the top spot with 60% of votes, it seems that although we all like a drink ourselves, over half of us don’t enjoy sharing our company with other overly drunk colleagues.

2. Team building activities

Next on the list of biggest Christmas party icks are team-building activities. It seems that Brits prefer to let their hair down instead of attending what feels more like a team-building event with 34% voting for this unwanted addition.

3. Someone unwanted trying to buy you a drink

Coming in at number 3 with 22% of votes is someone unwanted trying to buy you a drink. Over one in five of us finds the creepy colleague lurking at the bar as one of our biggest icks at the Christmas party.

4. Cheesy DJ and music

Ranking at number 4 with 21% of votes was a cheesy DJ and music. It seems that Brits are after a more tailored musical offering rather than hearing Mr Brightside or Wonderwall several times a night.

5. Inappropriate outfits

Charting halfway is inappropriate outfits. With 21% of Brits believing that there has to be a level of professionalism even at the annual Christmas Party. 

6. Bare feet on the dance floor at the end of the night

At number 6 is bare feet! Hurting high heels are a recurring problem at Christmas parties, but it seems that 21% of Brits get the ick from bare feet gracing the presence of the dancefloor.

7. Party games

Number 7 of Brit’s biggest Christmas party icks are party games. 20% of respondents shared that participating in party games is not on their list of things to do at their Christmas party.

8. One free drink token

Enjoy a drink, 20% of Brits share that a one free drink token was one of their icks. It seems employees would rather be given plenty of tokens to spend or access to a free bar.

9. Public displays of affection

Also garnering 20% of votes is public displays of affection. Whether that’s between existing couples or Christmas party romances, Brits are truly given the ick by PDAs.

10. Karaoke

Last but not least is karaoke. With 18% of votes, it looks like karaoke is an acquired taste and not the preferred entrainment option for this year’s Christmas party.


Are You Paying to Party?

We asked our survey respondents if their Christmas party is free or paid for.

A lucky 30% of Brits shared that they don’t have to pay for anything, including drinks, with a free bar on offer.

26% shared that their part is free and they only have to pay for drinks, food is provided.

10% get free attendance but have to pay for both food and drinks.

17% shared that they have to contribute towards the cost of their Christmas party.

17% also shared they are unsure.


The Cost of a Christmas Party

We asked our survey respondents if they feel that Christmas parties are more expensive to attend since the cost of living crisis.

A whopping 69% share that - Yes, they are more expensive.

A minute 6% of respondents shared - No, they are not more expensive

12% of respondents felt indifferent and shared that they don’t think it will be more or less expensive.

13% are unsure yet.

According to research by fizzbox, the average cost of a Christmas party in 2023 is £52.69 per person. But to delve deeper, we asked respondents how much plan to spend on themselves this year, including their outfits, taxis, babysitter, hair and makeup, drinks, and food.

37% of money-saving Brits shared that they only plan on spending between £20 - £50.

This was closely followed by 23% who planned to spend between £50 - £100 and 11% who plan on spending £100 - £150.

A lucky 11% also shared that they don’t spend anything and 6% only plan on spending £0 - £20.


Where Are the Biggest Christmas Party Spenders?

According to our survey, London is one of the biggest spenders when it comes to splashing out on the Christmas party. 50% of those who shared that they were planning on spending £250 - £300 were based in London. 

This was closely followed by the South East, with 60% sharing that they were planning to spend between £150 - £200.

Coming in at the lower end of the spending scale, Scotland and Wales made up 40% of votes for £0 - £20.


Splashing the Cash on Drinks and Shots

We asked survey respondents to share what they spend the most on.

Coming in first place with 24% of votes was drinks and shots, it seems that nearly a quarter of workers still enjoy a festive tipple.

Next up was the Christmas outfit, totalling 21% of votes.

Also gathering 21% of votes was taxis and transport.

17% shared that they spend the most on food.

Coming in lower down on Brit’s list at 3% of votes are hair, nails and makeup as well as hotels and babysitters.

Some shocking respondents even shared that their biggest spend is on ‘other substances’.


Christmas Party Saving Hacks

As part of our survey, we also asked respondents if they’ll be doing anything to save money when attending their Christmas party this year.

A whopping 76% of respondents shared that they’ll be wearing something they already own instead of buying something new.

22% of respondents will be getting someone to pick them up and drop them off to save on taxi and transport costs.

A non-surprising 20% of Brits will be pre-drinking before arriving at the venue as well as 16% who will be buying their own drinks instead of doing rounds with friends and colleagues.

12% plan on getting the last train or bus home early to avoid paying expensive taxi fayres and 5% are planning on smuggling their own drink into the party.


Shocking Christmas Party Confessions

We also asked our respondents if they had any Christmas party confessions they wanted to share…

What Christmas party confessions have you got to share? Do you have any top tips for saving money at your Christmas party this year? Let us know your thoughts on social media by using #instantprintuk!


About the Author

Hi, I’m Ally and I’m instantprint’s PR Lead. I enjoy writing content to help small businesses succeed and inspire them to get creative with their print marketing.