It’s been a strange year. From making the move from the office to our own homes to trying to get used to socialising via Zoom, we’ve all had to adapt to new ways of living, working, and communicating through the pandemic. So, as we begin the Christmas countdown, it’s likely that we’re all going to enjoy the festivities a little differently this year.
One annual event that’s sure to be a little bit out of the ordinary is the annual Christmas party. While almost two-thirds (62%) of employees have been told that their office party is cancelled this year, some companies are already getting creative with online events.
But where in the UK is most likely to spend more on their office Christmas do? Are London prices predictably high? Will offices in the north try to grab a bargain? instantprint, the online business card printing company, recently carried out a survey to find out which region spends more on their Christmas party. Based on the results, here’s a look at who is being thrifty and who is going all out.
It’s looking like it will be a very merry Christmas for employees in the south. The survey revealed cities across the southern part of the country typically spend an average of £171 on their festive fun. This covers drinks, taxis, the end-of-the-night takeaway, along with all the prep beforehand, from makeup and hair to finding the perfect outfit.
When we think of London, we tend to think of expensive food and drink, so you’d think this would be where your night out would cost the most. Not so, according to the survey. On average, people spend £47.97 on drinks in the capital – cheaper than the £51.52 spent on booze at the Christmas party in Bristol. Turns out Bristolians like to spend their cash on fancy drinks to celebrate the festive season.
Meanwhile, in the north everyone is a little more reserved. Northern cities spend an average of £136.85 on their Christmas party – around £31 less than partygoers in the south.
And if you’re looking for the cheapest drinks of all, head to Norwich. This is the city that bucks the trend towards drinks being cheaper in the north as here you can enjoy drinks at a very reasonable £21.59.
Why is there a north-south difference?
So, why are nights out in the north cheaper? Typically, people working and living in the south are paid more. In London, there is the ‘London weighting’, which is where salaries take into account the cost of living in the capital.
Generally, the further you get from London, the more salaries decrease. According to the Equality Trust, the North West of England has the highest proportion of people in the bottom 10% of earners.
There are cities in the north that do offer competitive salaries, however. Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh are all major cities that are in the better-paid brackets. These aren’t up to the London salary standard, however.
With people paid less in the north on average, northerners are less likely to spend as much on big events like the Christmas party.
Wherever we are in the UK, parties will be a little different this year. So check your Wi-Fi connection and make sure you’re logged into Zoom before you put on your party hat and get ready for some festive fun with your colleagues.