Christmas Gift Buying within the Workplace – What is Expected from an Employer?

It’s that time of year again – time to worry about office etiquette when it comes to Christmas cards, Secret Santa and the dreaded office party!

But what should you expect from your boss at Christmas?

It all depends on where you work – in the public sector, employees often pay for their own Christmas lunch, drinks etc but a generous boss may buy the odd round.  In the private sector, things get a lot more lavish – from a free lunch to a Christmas bonus or even an expenses-paid night out.  Many businesses also allow an early finish on Christmas eve without pay deduction (except in retail or catering where you may be expected to work long hours and wear a lot of tinsel!).

Here are a few more unusual examples from around the world:

  • A diamond merchant in India gives his employees diamonds, cars and even apartments
  • In China, people give peonies or ornamental turtles to symbolise longevity

What do employees actually want?

Believe it or not, there has been some research.  The most popular presents include food and drink such as wine or hampers, gift cards, movie or restaurant vouchers.  The least popular gifts include frozen turkeys, very cheap wine, mistletoe (!), tacky office toys for your desk (like in the 90’s), fruit cake and anything with the bosses photo on!


HR, Job Seekers

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