SURVEY SAYS: Holiday Work Event Distractions

The holidays are coming up.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Does your company hold holiday events during work hours, and if so, are they a distraction to you or your co-workers?”


Three-quarters (75.8%) of responding readers said their companies hold holiday events during work hours, while 24.2% reported they do not. The majority (78.5%) of respondents indicated these work-hour events are not a distraction, but 14.3% said they are a distraction to both themselves and their co-workers, and 7.1% reported they are a distraction to themselves.


In verbatim comments, a few readers indicated they prefer holiday events during work hours rather than after hours. Several said these events are good for morale and for co-workers to bond. Many shared exactly what their office/company does to celebrate the holidays. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Playing together can be just as important to team work as working together!”


Thank you to all who participated in the survey!



fresh healthy treats for snacks throughout the day along with casual attire!

We do a pot luck lunch on the last day worked before Christmas. I prefer this as I don’t want to use up one of my evenings during the holiday time going to a company party that everyone dreads.

While it’s a bit more work for me and a co-worker, it’s a welcomed distraction!

We have an annual Thanksgiving dinner with staff. It is the one time a year that everyone is able to sit together as a work family. The only thing distracting about this is how much to eat because you have to save room for another dinner on Thursday!

I’ve worked at companies that do and do not. I prefer to have a holiday party during work time so more people attend. As someone that has organized these parties in the past, it’s much more fun to have the

Of course they are a distraction as it takes you away from work! But for most, the distraction is good. Each individual decides if and how much to participate.

I’m Scrooge at holiday time. Even though it’s essentially an afternoon off, and we leave early after festivities are over, and I usually have a perfectly nice time, it always seems a little forced. And these days, it has to be PC. I know there are other holidays celebrated at the same time, and I don’t begrudge them. And I’m not even particularly religious, but mention of Christmas seems taboo. It’s too sensitive and it actually puts me on edge, like I’m going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and regret it. I’ll wind up having to resign to “spend more time with my family”. Happy Holidays.

We only have a Christmas party, which is now called a holiday party. This begs the question: What is the holiday? Well, it’s Christmas. It’s not mandatory so those who find it distracting, a whole 30 minutes, can simply opt to not attend and take a longer lunch hour.

These events are a great time to incorporate teambuilding and fellowship to the work day!

In general, the events are a welcome distraction however we are moving away from “holiday” events in this PC culture.

Company luncheon only.

Each department holds a holiday luncheon, so everyone within the department is involved at the same time preventing any distractions to others.

Corporate hosts a lavish desert bar in the cafeteria in December. Some departments hold pot luck lunches. Some sponsor a luncheon party at a restaurant. Other than that, people bring in cookies and other snacks near the holidays. Food brings people together in friendship, but work comes first.

Santa doesn’t like the naughty people working through the holidays!

They usually have a pot luck on the last day before the Christmas break. It seems to be well received and appreciated. It is a great way to kick off the season.

We have both during work hours and outside.

We celebrate everything here, Super Bowl, Valentines day, St Patricks day, Easter egg hunts, Cinquo de Mayo and Kentucky Derby, Halloween is almost mandatory, holiday pot luck and off site holiday party. It gets to be a bit much and can be time consuming during busy times.

I prefer work hour holiday events vs after hour holiday events.

We have local choirs come in and perform in our large cafeteria. It’s nice, and you don’t have to go see them if you don’t want to.

We have a holiday lunch on-site, so it is a one time event attended by the entire staff, so there aren’t really any distractions outside of this event.

We close the company for our holiday event so I’m sure some people believe it is a distraction from completing their work. I believe that time spent interacting in a social setting is an important part of teamwork and so isn’t a distraction but instead productive.

I think it is nice because many folks commute long distances to the office so staying late for social events is not always feasible. Our offices will hold holiday luncheons and happy hours on site, as well as after-hours events. Such events are not confined to the “holiday” season in winter, however. We tend to celebrate together throughout the year. Playing together can be just as important to team work as working together!

Our department does a white elephant gift exchange on an extended lunch time. It’s just the right amount of coworker celebration.

It is very nice that the company holds Holiday events during work hours (or any hours for that matter).

I am an adult. I don’t need to see other adults wearing Halloween costumes to work! What are you, 12? Put that on when you get home.

While they are a distraction, it’s preferable to pressure to attend something after-hours. And the distraction isn’t necessarily a bad thing.



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Strategic Insight or its affiliates.