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So how much do bank holidays, Secret Santa gifts, your Christmas bonus and the office party really cost business in time and money?

Does the cost of your office party figure out?
Does the cost of your office party figure out?

Time and money spent on Christmas parties, personal presents and colleagues’ Secret Santa gifts whilst at work is costing UK businesses a sizeable £10.7 billion, according to new research.

Time and money spent on Christmas parties, personal presents and colleagues’ Secret Santa gifts whilst at work is costing UK businesses a sizeable £10.7 billion, according to new research.

The “bah humbug” study from leading online job board CV-Library found that organised festive fun, aka the Office Christmas Party, takes up 52 minutes of the working day per person.

It also found that employees spend roughly 75 minutes over the Yuletide period researching and buying presents and Secret Santa gifts whilst at work.

Bosses surveyed indicated that employees lucky enough to receive an annual winter bonus will be awarded an average of £546.10, considering companies of all sizes.

Managers budgeting for the Christmas party are also said to put aside approximately £16.84 per head.

While only an hour taken out for the party may not look like much, when adding up the time and money spent on all festive activities for full-time working Brits, this is costing UK businesses £3.78billion.

If you then factor in that each bank holiday, taken by 97 per cent of the workforce, is estimated to cost the UK £2.3billion - and - there are three over Christmas, that bill rockets up to £10.68billion.

However, the vast majority of Brits (80 per cent) believe that the time - and money - spent on various Christmas activities whilst at work is worth it to bring teams together and celebrate the year’s success.

Economists have always struggled to put a value on happiness, but psychologically the Christmas period plays a critical role in preventing burnout and exhaustion.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “Despite the clear costs on businesses, Christmas provides a much-needed reward for employee and team morale.

“Fond traditions such as the office Christmas party and slightly newer ones like Secret Santa allow for teams to bond and relax after a (hopefully) hard-working year.

“Just make sure that productivity doesn’t take too much of a slip under all that eggnog!”