A fifth of managers in the workplace dread the Christmas party, a new study has revealed.
Research conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) found that 20 per cent treat the annual celebrations with caution, and as many as 31 per cent worry about possible fallouts at the staff do.
The biggest concern is that employees will drink too much (72 per cent), or become aggressive and start arguing (38 per cent).
Another common fear, held by 29 per cent of managers is that office workers will turn up with a hangover the following day.
One in ten managers surveyed said they had been forced to discipline employees in the past following the Christmas party.
The most common types of inappropriate behaviour were found to be saying something rude to a colleague (94 per cent), shouting at the boss (83 per cent), removing items of clothing (76 per cent), and bringing up work-related differences of opinion (50 per cent).
However “kissing a colleague” ranked fairly low down the list of “problem” behaviours – just 37 per cent expressed concern about romance at the party.
Charles Elvin, chief executive of the ILM, said having a Christmas party is “a milestone event” in the office calendar.
“However, it can also be a minefield for managers,” he stated.
“Not only do they have to walk the tightrope of being seen to let their hair down while remaining in a position of responsibility, they also need to be ready to deal with any problems that may arise and respond quickly and effectively.”
In the ILM study, almost two-fifths (38 per cent) of managers said they are expecting to see a drop in productivity in the run up to Christmas.
Some 24 per cent have noticed their colleagues being more stressed recently, while 28 per cent said they had been more distracted and 24 per cent more tired.