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Many people feel that a workplace Christmas party is an excellent way to encourage staff bonding among those who may not usually interact. Eventbrite surveyed over 1000 employers and employees in 2017 and found that eighty-five percent of employers believe that Christmas parties have a positive impact on staff morale and keep the team motivated (Eventbrite, 2017). Similarly, workplace friendships are shown to be great for improving organisational outcomes like efficiency and performance (Berman et al., 2002; Song, 2006). However, workplace friendships also contribute to a larger project of social and personal wellbeing (Rumens, 2016; Pedersen et al. 2012; Andrew & Montague, 1998).

Despite this, workplace Christmas parties are notorious for encouraging bad behaviour and have the potential to damage future working relationships. Pre-Christmas celebrations often involve alcoholic beverages. As such, something which may usually seem out of place in the office environment may become commonplace and acceptable. The accompanying behaviour, brought about through a combination of alcohol and excited, end-of-year spirits, can lead to a breakdown in workplace relationships (Erikkson et al. 2008).

Another pervasive idea behind the work Christmas event is that it represents a celebration and recognition by employers of the hard work of their employees. It is thought that this reward will, in turn, encourage greater workplace engagement in the future. However, studies have found little correlation between workplace engagement and workplace rewards (Kulikowski & Sedlak, 2017).

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