Gift wrapped box

With Christmas around the corner, office parties and after-work drinks are now more prominent than ever. However, according to a new report by Nigel Frank International, many workers feel pressured into socialising with their colleagues outside of core working hours.

We interviewed 1,000 people living and working in the UK about their professional lives and whether simple changes to workplace practices could have a greater impact on their overall happiness.

The report found that one in five people in the UK feel pressured into socialising with colleagues outside of work, with many limiting their social time with coworkers exclusively to special occasions like Christmas.

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

We asked our pool of UK professionals whether they felt pressured into socialising with work colleagues, with 22% confirming they do feel this type of anxiety. This equates to just over 1 in 5 people.

Here is a geographical breakdown of the survey responses:

London was the region in which most respondents admitting feeling this pressure, with 29% indicating so. Contrastingly, people in the South West appeared more open to out-of-work socialising, with only 14% admitting to feeling pressured into it.

Of those who indicated feeling pressured into socialising with colleagues, 56% were female, suggesting a slight gender difference in attitudes towards after-work drinks.

Interestingly, 36% of females living and working in Wales indicated they feel pressured into socialising with colleagues, compared to just 16% of males.

Unsurprisingly, respondents in their early-mid 20s did not admit to feeling as pressured as respondents in their late 20s, 30s, and early 40s.

Respondents without children were slightly less likely to admit feeling pressured (20% indicated feeling pressured), while there was no difference between people with children and overall respondents (both 22%).

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

We also asked how often survey respondents socialised with colleagues outside of work, and discovered that 36% of people limited their social time with colleagues to special occasions.

Here is a full breakdown of answers to our question:

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions – 36%

Every couple of months – 16%

Once a week – 14%

 

Once a month – 14%

Once a fortnight – 9%

Several times a week – 7%

Of respondents based in the Capital, 12% admitted to socialising with colleagues several times a week, while 23% do so once a week.Just 7% of respondents reported spending time with colleagues several times a week, though this figure increased dramatically when analysing the responses of those based in London.

Of all female respondents, just 5% reported socialising with colleagues several times a week, with 39% limited their social time with colleagues to just on special occasions.

Results by region

Jump to:

> East Midlands

> East of England

> London

> North East

> North West

> Northern Ireland

> Scotland

> South East

> South West

> Wales

> West Midlands

> Yorkshire & The Humber

East Midlands

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 22%

No: 78%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 35%

Every couple of months: 19%

Once a week: 10%

Once a month: 12%

Once a fortnight: 9%

Several times a week: 12%

East of England

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 25%

No: 75%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 31%

Every couple of months: 16%

Once a week: 18%

Once a month: 13%

Once a fortnight: 10%

Several times a week: 8%

London

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 29%

No: 71%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 20%

Every couple of months: 11%

Once a week: 23%

Once a month: 20%

Once a fortnight: 11%

Several times a week: 12%

North East

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 16%

No: 84%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 40%

Every couple of months: 22%

Once a week: 9%

Once a month: 11%

Once a fortnight: 7%

Several times a week: 7%

North West

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 23%

No: 77%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 32%

Every couple of months: 15%

Once a week: 10%

Once a month: 14%

Once a fortnight: 10%

Several times a week: 12%

Northern Ireland

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 17%

No: 83%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 42%

Every couple of months: 18%

Once a week: 15%

Once a month: 14%

Once a fortnight: 4%

Several times a week: 4%

Scotland

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 20%

No: 80%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 37%

Every couple of months: 22%

Once a week: 14%

Once a month: 16%

Once a fortnight: 6%

Several times a week: 1%

South East

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 19%

No: 81%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 38%

Every couple of months: 20%

Once a week: 5%

Once a month: 14%

Once a fortnight: 11%

Several times a week: 6%

South West

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 14%

No: 86%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 38%

Every couple of months: 10%

Once a week: 16%

Once a month: 16%

Once a fortnight: 14%

Several times a week: 4%

Wales

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 27%

No: 73%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 48%

Every couple of months: 21%

Once a week: 16%

Once a month: 4%

Once a fortnight: 5%

Several times a week: 6%

West Midlands

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 25%

No: 75%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 44%

Every couple of months: 9%

Once a week: 15%

Once a month: 10%

Once a fortnight: 8%

Several times a week: 6%

Yorkshire & The Humber

Do you feel pressured into socialising with work colleagues?

Yes: 23%

No: 77%

How often do you socialise with colleagues?

Just on special occasions: 42%

Every couple of months: 10%

Once a week: 18%

Once a month: 15%

Once a fortnight: 7%

Several times a week: 6%

Additional points of interest

Of those who admit to feeling pressured into socialising with work colleagues, 38% only do so on special occasions.

Interestingly, 12% socialise with colleagues several times a week despite feeling pressured into doing so, suggesting that even people with very active social lives might rather be doing something else.

Of all respondents who indicated they socialise with colleagues several times a week, 20% were based in London, while just 1.4% were based in Scotland. 60% of respondents socialising several times a week were male.

About this report

The report ‘Is Your Job Working For You’ was produced using the answers provided by 1,000 respondents aged between 21 and 70 and living in the UK.

We gathered data regarding the respondent’s age, gender, ethnic and educational/professional backgrounds to ensure a fair and representational sample of the UK population.

If you’d like to receive a full copy of the report for media distribution please email c.thompson@nigelfrank.com