Some people love parties and find it easy being a social butterfly and working the room. Others dread the party season and will do anything to avoid being asked to a party. The office Christmas party is likely to divide opinions but it’s one that’s tricky to avoid.
There are however some simple do’s and don’ts that can help people get into the Christmas spirit, but not too much so that they embarrass themselves. Below are Activ People HR’s do’s and don’ts to help people get through the festive party season:
Do: Mingle and speak to people outside of your usual networks – it’s easy to just talk to your usual work friends but why not use the party as a way to get to know some other colleagues? Speaking to people outside your network can be a great way to make new contacts and new friends. If clients are also at the party it can be a good opportunity to speak to them on a more informal basis too.
Don’t: Go over the top and drink too much – drinking too much is something we’ve all done, but doing it at the office party can mean you end up doing things that are completely out of character. At best you will embarrass yourself, at worse you could end up being disciplined.
Do: Eat before you go – find out if food will be served and if not make sure to eat beforehand. Forgetting to eat is a recipe for disaster when it comes to alcohol and you could end up making the mistake mentioned above!
Don’t: Ignore the dress code – if its fancy dress don’t turn up in your work suit, equally if it’s casual avoid wearing a tuxedo. Find out beforehand what the dress code is and stick with it. The work party is not the place to make a statement, unless you want to stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Do: Keep conversations positive – the Christmas party is not the place to air your grievances on what is happening at work, lack of a pay rise or that you can’t stand Christmas. No one wants to listen to someone moaning so try to keep the conversation light and positive.
Don’t: Tell your boss what you think of them – it can be all too easy after one or two drinks to think you are doing your boss a favour by pointing out some of their flaws, but this will never ever go down well. Instead have a quick chat with them at the beginning of the evening and then avoid them for the rest of the evening.
Do: Remember to act professionally – the office party may seem like a bit of a free for all and a chance to really let your hair down, but remember it’s still a work do. Act professional, don’t drink too much and be polite and respectful to people at all times.
Don’t: Try to kiss a colleague – beer goggles may mean you misjudge someone’s intent so make it a golden rule to never kiss a colleague at the Christmas party. Even if someone is showing you a lot of attention, remember they too may have had a lot to drink. This rule will prevent any red faces at work the next day and any potential damage to your career if you have read the signs wrong!