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More Companies Saying 'Bah, Humbug' to Holiday Parties

Corporate America just isn't feeling the spirit of the season.

Fewer companies are decking the halls this year, despite an improving economy. The number of companies planning to hold holiday parties this year dropped by eight percentage points, to 88 percent, according to an annual survey conducted by executive search firm Battalia Winston. “It’s, in many respects, the last remnant of corporate socialization,” said Battalia Winston chairwoman and CEO Dale Winston.

Companies are still in a recession mentality, Winston said. For many workers, trying to shoehorn in a few hours to socialize with people they already spend all day with is just one more thing to add to the to-do list. Of those not having parties, 14 percent said it was because employees just weren’t interested. Another culprit is telecommuting; 14 percent of respondents said a remote work force makes planning a party difficult or impossible, up from just 5 percent last year. “With dual career families… it’s just too complicated,” Winston said, which is why 43 percent of companies throwing parties opt to hold them during lunchtime. “It’s less of an imposition,” she said.

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-- Martha C. White, NBC News contributor

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