Christmas Work Party Dos and Don’ts

christmas party

Rejoice, the Christmas season is finally here! This is great news for a number of reasons – but mostly because it’s now socially acceptable to drink and eat as much as you’d like. Of course there’s also the momentous celebration we’ve been waiting for all year: the company Christmas work party.

This is your chance to make the most of what should be an opportunity for growth. On the other hand, it’s also an opportunity for things to go horribly wrong. Luckily, we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ve compiled a list of our top dos and don’ts… so whether you’re inebriated or simply emboldened by the spirit of Christmas, we’ll help set you straight.

Don’t drink too much

This might seem like a given, but you’d be surprised by how many people ignore this advice. Pretty much all the don’ts on this list are a consequence of excessive drinking. We know how tempting this can be, especially when the alcohol is flowing. But while this is a party, it’s still a work party. This is an extension of your professional life, and you should subsequently be on your best behaviour. If you act belligerently, people will not only think you can’t handle your drink, they’ll also assume you don’t know how to conduct yourself appropriately. So do your mother proud. Act like a sensible, mature employee, and drink in moderation. You’ll thank yourself later.

Do socialize/network with key people

It’s imperative that you socialize and, above all, take this opportunity to get to know your colleagues (with special regard to upper management). This is a chance for you to connect with them on a personal level, outside the confines of the office. If you’re scared to approach someone more senior, it might help to come up with questions beforehand, or to do a bit of sleuthing so you can find out what you have in common. If anything, they’ll appreciate that you’ve gone out of your way to have a chat with them, even if you were visibly terrified by the prospect.

Don’t engage in office debauchery 

The tedium of work can get to us all, and it’s inevitable that you’ll develop a work crush as a coping mechanism. Perhaps you’ve been eyeing the cute single colleague who sits across from you, and you’ve decided the Christmas party is your chance to let them know that you fancy the pants off them. While that’s all very well and good, we strongly advise that you not take this time to make your move. You think you’re being discreet about your whole operation? You’re not. Everyone at the party knows, and they’re silently (or not so silently) judging you for it.

Do be on time the next day

We know how hard this can be, especially if you’ve had a late night. But everyone will knowexactly why you’re late, and what you were doing the night before. If all your colleagues are able to drag themselves out of bed, you can too. So unless the apocalypse has finally come, you had better be at your desk by 9 am sharp, even if you look like you’ve been afflicted with all seven plagues.

Don’t slag off your colleagues

It’s a fact of life that some people are just plain terrible. Perhaps tonight is the night you’re going to tell Jenny from sales that she’s one of these people. Or maybe you’ve decided this is a good time to complain about how lazy one of your subordinates is. While your honesty might be welcomed by some, it probably won’t be welcomed by them. So remember: What’s said at the Christmas party, does not stay at the Christmas party. It will follow you – most likely in the guise of a formal complaint.

Do plan your journey home in advance

Getting home can be a pain, especially if you live far away. Be sure to check train times well in advance if you have a long commute home, or coordinate a ride with someone who lives close by. You could even ask to stay over at someone’s place, if appropriate. Regardless of what you decide, just make sure you have an exit strategy.

Don’t divulge company secrets

If you’re upper management (or simply in the loop), there’s a good chance you know some juicy office gossip. Maybe there’s been a major dispute with a client, or a wave of redundancies is on the horizon. It might be tempting to spill if the question of illicit affairs and company secrets come up, but doing so will not only jeopardise your reputation, but possibly your job. So if you’re feeling particularly trusting, remember: trust no one.

Don’t partake in karaoke

Feel free to disregard this one if you have a powerhouse voice. If not, it’s our humble opinion that you should opt out of karaokeat all costs. There’s nothing more harrowing than hearing about your emotional power ballad the next day… and then realising there’s a recording of it on the shared drive. Keep in mind that most people have smartphones with bazillion pixel cameras, so if you don’t want this to come back and haunt you, be vigilant.

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