Office parties shrink in economic downturn

The World

Holiday office parties used to be a chance to network, kick back with colleagues, and attempt to avoid the perils of inappropriate attire and too much booze. For some offices, this end-of-the-year standard is fast approaching. But with the economy still forcing companies to cut staff and cut hours, many offices are scaling back their office parties.

Kris Bashore is the executive vice president of human resources at the Caron Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Pennsylvania. Kris says her office used to have elaborate parties, but last year they started a new tradition: The money that used to be spent on the holiday party is now distributed evenly among employees and added to their end-of-year bonuses. We’re also talking with our work contributor, Beth Kobliner, who says the number of offices having parties is down sharply since 2007.

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