More office workers expect to give than get gifts

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2009 12:36 PM

BETTER TO GIVE: Nearly half of office workers say they plan to get co-workers holiday gifts this year _ but only 36 percent expect a gift in return, according to a recent survey.

Women were more likely to say they would give out presents to colleagues. While only 37 percent of men said they planned to get presents for colleagues, 58 percent of women said they expected to give a holiday gift.

"Typically people that do give gifts enjoy giving them, they're not necessarily looking for something in return," said Robert Hosking, executive director of staffing service OfficeTeam, which sponsored the survey. "They may like to receive gifts but may not expect to."

The youngest employees in the office _ those between 18 and 34 _ also were the likeliest to say they planned to give a gift to a co-worker (62 percent) and expected to receive one (51 percent) this holiday season.

That's probably because the youngest employees more commonly build friendships with co-workers, said Hosking. They're likely handing out holiday presents to individual friends rather than a token present to everyone in the office, he said.

More respondents said they expected a gift from a co-worker (36 percent) than from a manager (29 percent). They were also likelier to plan to give a gift to a co-worker (48 percent) than to a boss (34 percent).

OfficeTeam polled 455 adult U.S. office workers by phone from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8. The margin of error ranged from 3.6 to 3.9 percentage points.

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DON'T CURE ALCOHOL WITH COFFEE: If you want to rein in the blow of all those margaritas you ingested at the annual holiday party, don't look to coffee, suggests a recent study in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

Drinking coffee won't sober you up, the researchers found by examining the effects of alcohol and caffeine in young adult mice.

In fact, caffeine can make things worse. Ingesting the stimulant may make it harder to realize you're drunk, the researchers said.

"The myth about coffee's sobering powers is particularly important to debunk because the co-use of caffeine and alcohol could actually lead to poor decisions with disastrous outcomes," said co-author Thomas Gould of Temple University. "People who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations."

When the mice were given both caffeine and alcohol, the mice were more relaxed than those who ingested only caffeine _ but the stimulant didn't reverse negative cognitive effects of alcohol, the study said.

Gould warned that drinks that mix caffeine and alcohol have serious risks.

The study is in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, which is published by the American Psychological Association.