Many workplaces have abandoned plans for their festive celebrations this year, according to new research from e-recruitment platform IrishJobs.ie.
The research carried out among 2,610 employees in Ireland found that 42% of workplaces will not host any form of Christmas party this year, with a further 10% postponing their plans for a workplace Christmas event until Covid restrictions have been lifted.
According to the research, 84% of workplaces typically host a Christmas party for employees every year.
However, only 14% will host a party this festive season.
Of those who will host a workplace Christmas party this year, 9% will host a virtual party, 3% plan to have a party in the workplace under socially distanced guidelines, while 2% hope to secure a booking in a restaurant or pub in line with Government guidelines.
A total of 26% of employees do not know if their workplace will hold a Christmas party this year.
While 8% say that they never host Christmas parties in work.
According to the research, almost eight in 10 employees consider workplace socialising to be an important aspect of their job.
However, when it comes to Christmas socialising this year, four in 10 employees think that it would be irresponsible to host a Christmas party given the current Covid risks.
A total of 30% think it would be more trouble than it is worth given current restrictions and risks.
Aside from Christmas parties, the research also suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a wider impact on workplace socialising levels for most workplaces.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 94% of workplaces held regular social events, with four in ten holding a social activity for employees at least once a quarter.
Throughout the pandemic, this has decreased significantly with 81% of employees saying that they no longer have any workplace social activities.
Commenting on the findings, Orla Moran, General Manager at IrishJobs.ie said that workplace socialising, whether organised or informal, has always been hugely important.
"It allows colleagues to get to know each other outside of the traditional boundaries of job descriptions and deadlines, helps foster greater comradery and collaboration amongst staff, and typically goes hand in hand with a happier and more productive workplace," she said.
Ms Moran said the work Christmas party does not need to be cancelled altogether due to the pandemic.
"Whether it is a virtual after work event, or a get together in a public space once Government guidelines allow, a conscious effort should be made to ensure that there is dedicated time allocated for workplace socialising in the weeks ahead to help boost morale and recognise the hard work and resilience of employees at the close of a uniquely challenging year," she said.