[SUNDAY FEATURE] From ho, ho, ho to no, no, no! Office parties feel the chill

A scene from the movie “Office Christmas Party.” Credit Glen Wilson/Paramount Pictures

By Laura M. Holson | The New York Times

Remember the scene in the movie “Office Christmas Party” when the head of human resources grabbed the D.J.’s microphone and told employees to have sex in the parking lot instead of in their cubicles? Wait, you didn’t see it?

Well, anyway: Those days are over, even in jest. Holiday gatherings have become toned-down affairs as executives respond to demands to cut costs, improve company morale and, this year, address sexual harassment in the workplace.

More companies are focusing their efforts on holiday parties that promote teams and foster cooperation. A growing favorite are parties at bowling alleys and escape rooms, events with a manageable size and guest list. At Vox Media, the company whose editorial director was recently fired for sexual harassment, guests will be limited to two drink tickets at its holiday party, putting a chill on alcohol consumption (and potentially scandalous behavior). Other companies are taking a more stringent approach, cutting out booze altogether.

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