(CBS Local) — “Secret Santa” gift exchanges in the workplace causes anxiety for millennials who fear being viewed as “stingy” by their colleagues, a new report found.

Secret Santa, of course, is a holiday tradition in which people in a group draw a name out of a hat to whom they are anonymously assigned give a gift.

A study commissioned by British job-hunting website Jobsite found that 78 percent of millennials felt they contributed “more than they should” to an office party gift compared to 58 percent of the rest of the workforce.

26 percent of millennials admitted to dipping into savings or over-drafting their accounts to purchase an office gift.

And nearly 17 percent of millennials said they have experienced allegations of stinginess relating to their contribution, resulting in a sense of shame within the workplace.

“If you’ve grown up in a world where social media is at your fingertips and those kinds of social judgments are being made fairly constantly, suddenly you’re even more aware of what others might be thinking,” Dr. Ashley Weinberg, an expert in workplace psychology at the University of Salford, told the Daily Mail.

As a result of the anxiety, 20 percent of workers believe that such events should not be celebrated at all in the workplace and 35 percent of millennials would even like to see them banned altogether.

“When it comes to Secret Santa, this should be ‘opt-in’ rather than a requirement, and a budget range can be agreed from the offset to avoid any awkwardness,” said Alexandra Sydney, marketing director at Jobsite.

Comments