WORKPLACE / DEC. 11, 2013
version 3, draft 3

Do’s and Don’ts at the Office Christmas Party

The month of office Christmas parties is finally here and we are all getting excited about an expenses paid work do! Nevertheless, it is important not to be too carried away with the free booze and food. There are certain ‘unsaid’ party rules that employees should abide by if they want to keep their jobs and avoid being the subject of office gossip the following Monday morning.

Here are the main do’s and don’ts of your office Christmas party…

DO show up – don’t be a party pooper and not attend the party. Being there will show you as a sociable and friendly team player.

DO be on time – arriving fashionably late is one thing, but to show up over an hour late is rude, and the last thing you want to do is appear inconsiderate to your management.

DO get some ‘face time’ - this means you should make sure that you have a conversation (not necessarily about work) with your manager and even the CEO if he/she attends the party. A social event is the best time to speak with influential people in the company who you would otherwise not have the chance to talk to.

DO have a few drinks – drinking in moderation is perfectly acceptable, in fact it is expected from employees who want to let their hair down at the office Christmas party; just be sure not to get drunk.

DO arrange a lift home – never leave yourself stranded after the party; you may be have come in your own car, but if you have been drinking then you need to arrange an alternative way of getting home. Book a taxi in advance or make sure you have someone to get a bus or train with.

DO bring a guest – if your invite say ‘plus 1’ and everyone else is bringing their husband/wife/partner with them, then you should also bring a guest. Be sure to invite someone who will not cause a scene or upset anyone at the party though.

DON’T dress inappropriately – the last thing you want is for your co-workers to be discussing how revealing or poorly dressed you were on Monday morning! Remember this is still your place of work, and even if the party is off work premises, you are still partying with your manager.

DON’T talk controversy – avoid all conversations that involve religion, politics or money. You don’t want to ignite an argument at a social gathering!

DON’T go on about work – you do not want to be labeled the office bore so don’t talk about work or complain to colleagues about issues you have with your job.

DON’T try it on with a colleague – never make a move on your co-workers and certainly not your manager if you want to keep your job. Even if you think the other person has the same feelings as you do, the office Christmas party is not the place to address it.

DON’T swear – it’s very uncivilized to use profanities at an office party and Christmas is a time for festive fun and joy, so swearing (even if it is in jest and not offensive) is considered a faux pas.

DON’T leave early – you should never leave the office Christmas party early unless you have a very good reason such as childcare arrangements or a sick relative! Leaving early can be considered worse than being a no show, so make sure that you spend at the very least a few hours with your co-workers socializing.

DON’T be the last to leave – although not as bad as leaving the party early or being a ‘no-show’, you should try to avoid being the last person to leave the party. You tend to look a bit desperate and may even get roped into tidying up!

DON’T raise the Christmas bonus issue – you may want to enquire about a bonus or to talk about the one you know you are getting, but an office party is not the right time or place to do so. Your co-workers may overhear the conversation and topics such as bonuses should really be kept private.

DON’T take photos of people without their permission – this is a big one as many people are private and do not like their photos being taken. You should also avoid uploading photos to social platforms and tagging people without their knowing.

It might seem a bit over the top dishing out several Do’s and Don’ts that you ought to follow for the festive season at work, but there are been many cases where these rules have been ignored and employees have found themselves in hot water. Abide by these office Christmas party do’s and don’ts to survive the festive season at work. Ignore them; on your own head be it!

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