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Office Christmas parties on the up

WORKPLACE bosses around the country have been visited by three Christmas ghosts and undergone a Scrooge-like transformation.

The number of businesses that plan to hold a Christmas party this year has increased by 10pc, according to new research.

Confidence in the economy has been credited with the rise of festive shindigs. According to the research, by Close Brothers, 46pc of Irish SME owners will host a festive party for staff this year.

The business barometer, an opinion poll of SME owners across the UK and Ireland, also revealed that 16pc of Irish firms are benefiting from current trading conditions.

This was a rise of over 6pc on the previous quarter, suggesting that business confidence is improving.


"Christmas parties have fallen victim to the recession over the last few years and this noticeable increase is a positive sign that business confidence is picking up," Harry Parkinson, managing director of Close Brothers Ireland, said.

"For many bosses, the annual Christmas party is significant as it is a chance to build relationships with staff and reward them for their hard work throughout the year," he added.

Mr Parkinson said that over the last number of years, many employers have been forced to cut back on any unnecessary expenditure and staff entertainment was often first on the list.

"Staff morale can make a real difference to a company's bottom line, so it's great to see so many employers recognising this and treating their staff with festive celebrations this year," he added.

The survey was conducted in September. It canvassed the opinion of over 700 SME owners from several industries across the UK and Ireland on a range of issues.