Glassdoor Updates, Watercooler

Employed Layoff Survivors & Unemployed Cutting Back On Gifts, Travel & Parties This Season

Extravagant office holiday parties? Sayonara. Unexpected expensive gifts?  Those days are gone for now. Workplace gift exchanges among employees? This year, not so much.

Glassdoor released the findings from its holiday workplace survey today which highlights how those employed, affected by layoffs or other cost-cutting measures, and unemployed plan to tackle gifts, parties, travel and all that the season brings with it. As part of the Glassdoor survey of more than 2,250 people, we wanted to find out: What do people plan to cut back on this season compared to a typical holiday season? Bottom line:  people are reducing gift budgets and plans to attend holiday parties and travel, even more so among employees who work for companies that have initiated or communicated layoffs in the past six months, which accounts for 27% of employed adults (1). Survey highlights include:

  • Gift Budgeting: More than half (52%) of those whose company has laid off or communicated layoffs in the past six months plan to cut back on budgets for gift purchases, compared to 40% of all employed adults.
  • Gift Exchanges: Gift exchanges will either be less common or less pricey: 28% of employed adults plan to cut back on gift exchanges with co-workers; whereas, 38% of those whose company has communicated layoffs in the past 6 months plan to do the same.
  • Gift Expectations: 50% of unemployed are not expecting gifts from others compared to 36% of those employed. Interestingly, more women (42%) report they are reducing their expectations for receiving gifts this season than their male counterparts (30%).
  • Company Parties: Fewer people will be attending company-sponsored holiday parties: One in five (19%) employees say they will cut back on attending company-sponsored holiday parties; the rate is highest among employees whose company has initiated/communicated layoffs in the past six months (25%)
  • Holiday Functions: And, holiday functions or events hosted by co-workers or colleagues are expected to be down; 15% of employed adults plan to cut back.

Glassdoor Holiday Survey Findings: Gifts & Parties

In addition, the survey points out how people are planning to cut back on travel and vacation plans. One in four plan to cut back on travel for getaways (27%) and travel to visit family and friends (26%). The reduction is highest among those currently unemployed but looking and employees who have survived layoffs — Among the unemployed, 36% report plans that they will travel less and 34% report they are cutting back on travel to visit family and friends.

Glassdoor Holiday Survey Findings: Travel & Vacation

What group do you fall in? Are you planning to make changes this season from what you have typically done?

(1) Harris Interactive® fielded the survey on behalf of from September 17 to 21, 2009 via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,257 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, of whom 1,320 employed full/part time and/or are self employed. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated