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17th December 2019 | 3 min read
As the festive season approaches, employees start to look forward to the event of the year – the Christmas party. Usually a night of dancing, drinks and laughter, office Christmas parties are a great chance for staff to relax, unwind, and celebrate the end of the year with a few glasses of fizz.
However, although it may be tempting to let your hair down, it’s important to remember that you are technically still in a professional environment. To help you navigate this social occasion with ease, here are our tips on office Christmas party do’s and don’ts…
All office parties are different – and while some may be a more casual affair, others require a certain style of dress. To avoid showing up in an outfit that turns heads for all the wrong reasons, make sure you check the dress code for both the event and the venue beforehand.
Although you need to retain a professional air, don’t be tempted to talk shop all evening. Discussing work at parties usually makes for a very boring conversation, so if you find the people you’re speaking to make an excuse to leave after ten minutes, this could be why. Instead, ask people about their lives outside work – you may learn something that surprises you.
The saying ‘loose lips sink ships’ is especially relevant at an office party – and after a few glasses of wine, tongues do tend to start wagging. However, you should take care to avoid complaining about members of staff, the management, or joining in office gossip, as word travels fast and you never know who’s listening. Similarly, it’s probably a good idea to refrain from posting on your social media for the evening to avoid having to do any damage-control the next day.
This goes without saying, getting roaring drunk is never a good idea in a work environment. Although a free bar and endless bubbles might prove too much of a temptation for some, try to keep a clear head throughout the night. A good tip is to drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol – and if you know tequila shots are likely to tip you over the edge, just say no.
This usually goes hand-in-hand with drinking, but at a work party you should be on your best behaviour and endeavour to be polite and stay in control at all times. This means avoiding tasteless or vulgar jokes, controversial topics or oversharing, treating other members of staff respectfully and no flirting or kissing your colleagues. You don’t want to come in on Monday to find your behaviour at the office party is the trending topic of conversation throughout the business.
Although talking about work all evening is dull, Christmas parties are nonetheless a good opportunity to network and make new contacts. You don’t necessarily have to discuss business, but making an effort to chat with people from other departments rather than sticking with your team all night could have unexpected benefits in the long-term.
Some office Christmas parties are more out-of-the-way than others, so always make sure you know your getaway route. If the party goes on until the small hours, you’ll thank yourself for having pre-booked a taxi beforehand. If possible, try to find a group heading the same way so you don’t have to head home alone.
This may seem obvious, but no matter how much of a sore head you have the next day, the show must go on. Calling in sick after an office party will fool no one – you may as well head into work and enjoy catching up on all the stories from the previous night with your friends.
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