Workers Prefer Gifts to Parties

More American workers (78%) would rather receive a great holiday gift—monogrammed tote, apparel or gourmet treat—than have an office party, a survey found.

Lands’ End Business Outfitters, in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, polled office workers in its 2013 Holiday Business Gift Survey and found that 74% of respondents indicated a “reputation for quality” as their No. 1 attribute in a gift provider, followed by a “wide assortment of product offerings” (54%).

The prime time for corporate gift shopping is the month of November, the survey found. Of the 73% of employers who buy employee gifts, most plan on spending up to $50, about the same as last year. Employers prefer to give employees apparel (42%), gift cards (28%), bags/totes (27%) and food (24%). 

Most employees’ preferred gift to receive from an employer is a holiday cash bonus (45%), followed by gift cards (23%) and apparel (11%), beating out an extra day off (6%).

Most employers who purchase client gifts plan on spending the same as they did last year. More than a third (39%) seek practical items for use outside the workplace. Most spend less than $25, but about one-third are spending $25 to $50. Preferred gifts are apparel and bags/totes (both 38%), food (28%), drinkware (22%) and padfolios/writing instruments (18%).

More than a third (36%) of companies do not have a policy about gift-giving. Of those that do, 12% specify that gifts cost less than $25.

Most employees give their boss a gift, whether from a group (36%) or just from themselves (30%).