Almost half admitted the cause of the disciplinary action was for engaging in romantic or sexual activity with a colleague on the premises.
The boozy office party is traditionally a time for staff to let their hair down after a years' hard work, but with dark corners and copious alcohol things may often escalate.
The world’s biggest dating site for married people, AshleyMadison.com, revealed the extent of the Christmas work party fallout and the extent to which inter-office affairs are sparked.
Research into top UK HR departments has revealed one in three staff in the UK admitted to drunken sex with a colleague on the night of the office Christmas party, with 64 per cent professing it made things awkward at work afterwards.
Additionally just over half said that they had passionately kissed the boss or a colleague at the annual do.
Further research by the site revealed from an independent source that the vast majority of co-workers involved in a festive tryst were married.
Noel Biderman, founder and CEO of AshleyMadison.com said, “Office affairs are risky and the messy aftermath is one of the reasons people then come to our discreet dating site. When an office affair turns sour, it can be damaging to employees’ reputations and can even end in job loss.”
“The findings aren’t that surprising since office affairs are our biggest competitor, even more than other dating sites or Facebook.”
An in house survey with 4,834 UK members from AshleyMadison.com revealed how the Christmas office party is often a catalyst to detrimental inter-office affairs.
In fear of formal discipline or office politics, some of Britain’s biggest cheats intend to avoid a fling at this year’s Christmas party: 57 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men on the marital affairs site.
Of their UK members polled, 52 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men admitted to having had an affair with a work colleague; the majority of these had their first encounter at an office Christmas party.
Twenty six per cent of women who had an office affair, in comparison to 23 per cent of men, shrewdly chose to have an illicit fling with someone in a different department, which is likely to cause less disruption to working relationships.
Noel comments, “These parties offer an informal atmosphere, and when mixed with alcohol and pent-up sexual tensions between two colleagues, it’s a recipe for disaster. Instead of jeopardising your career this Christmas, join AshleyMadison.com.”
Cara Mason @FemaleFirst_UK