A trend that has yet to affect me.
Longer Lunches founder Liz Kiley, who was surprised by the robust turnout, says she decided to throw the event after discovering that many of the clients from her marketing business weren’t celebrating the holidays.
“I must have hit 100 companies and they all said we’re not doing a party this year,” says Kiley. “It’s kind of sad, what’s going on.”
With the recession prompting many firms to forgo the traditional holiday party this year, many employers and workers are seeking alternatives to boost employee morale. Some 64 percent of companies surveyed by Lincolnshire, Ill.-based human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates said they were holding holiday parties this year, down from 67 percent last year, when the Sept. 11 attacks put many company festivities on hold.
Faced with two company Christmas parties every year, I go to sleep at night praying to a god I don’t believe in to give me the power to put myself in a coma for about four hours, which is about the duration of the average party. Just wake me up when it’s over.
So far, no dice. So much for faith.
There is a nice touch in the story though:
Financial news provider Bloomberg, known for holding extravagant holiday bashes in venues like New York City’s Museum of Natural History, has decided to skip the tradition in favor of a week dedicated to working on charitable causes.
Called BOB week (for “Best Of Bloomberg”), the program allows its employees to take time off from the workday to participate in charity events. In New York City, Bloomberg set up a special tent to host different activities during the week. For example, the company gave workers a $25 voucher for Toys ‘R Us, where they bought presents for the wish lists of children from various charities and went back to the tent to wrap them.
Bloomberg started doing charitable events in lieu of a holiday party last year out of respect for the victims of Sept. 11, and has since decided to make BOB week an annual event, says company spokeswoman Chris Taylor.
“I think that everybody felt good about doing this last year, and we thought, why not going forward do this for the holidays, making it more festive and organized,” she says.
That is pretty cool….