11 dos and don’ts at your office Christmas party

By Robert Half on 19 November 2019

As the 25th December fast approaches, it means your office Christmas party is probably just around the corner too.

This is the perfect time to celebrate everything that has been achieved throughout the year, as well as to enjoy some time with your colleagues outside of the office.

But with a roomful of your colleagues, drink, music and dancing, how do you enjoy your office Christmas party without embarrassing yourself and derailing your career?

Follow this list of dos and don’ts, to avoid ruining your corporate reputation.

Things you shouldn’t do at your office Christmas party

1. Don’t drink too much

One of the most common mistakes at an office Christmas party is drinking far too much. The free bar can be tempting, but you may regret it when you make a fool out of yourself in front of your boss, and all your colleagues are talking about you the next day.

Eat something starchy before you go to your office Christmas party, don’t mix your drinks, pace yourself, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and know your limits.

2. Don’t gossip or whine

Your Christmas party is a celebratory occasion, so remember to stay positive. Now is not the time to be negative, to complain about your boss, to tell someone how you really feel about them, to moan about work-related issues or to gossip behind a colleague’s back.

3. Don’t talk excessively about work

You may be amongst work colleagues but try to avoid talking about work all evening. You’re there to enjoy yourself, and your co-workers don’t want you reminding them about company KPIs and projects.

Use your office Christmas party as an opportunity to get to know your colleagues a little better. Share what you’re doing over Christmas and what you’re looking forward to in the new year. Ask questions to find out more about your team, their children, families or holidays.

4. Don’t bring up controversial topics

Avoid starting controversial conversations with colleagues, such as on religion and politics. You may feel strongly about a topic or enjoy a debate, but try to keep your opinions to yourself, as you could end up offending someone (especially after a few glasses of wine).

5. Don’t leave too early

A lot of time and effort has probably been spent organising your Christmas party so try to avoid slipping out early. You may end up looking rude and unsociable.

Spend a reasonable amount of time there, enjoy the food and take the time to talk to your colleagues.

Things you should do at an office Christmas party

1. Do attend

Are you one of 27% of professionals who dread the office Christmas party? Although attendance is often optional, make the effort to show up.

It’s a good way to get to know your co-workers better outside of work and show that you are part of the team. You may even enjoy yourself.

2. Do be professional

At your Christmas party, it’s OK to relax and enjoy yourself but remember that your behaviour still matters. It’s important to be social, but professional and make a good impression with people.

3. Do dress appropriately

Remember that your Christmas party is still a business function, so dress suitably. If you’re not sure of the dress code, ask your manager, or talk to colleagues to see what they will be wearing.

4. Do socialise

Don’t just sit in the corner and text your friends or post pictures on Instagram. Put your phone away and be social. You could even build your network by introducing yourself to those that you wouldn’t normally get the chance to talk to. If there are games or activities, be a team player and take part.

5. Do book your transport home

If you don’t know when to call it a night, arrange your transport home in advance. It’s easy to get carried away at a Christmas party, but this way, you’ll have a set time to leave and will know when to start saying “thank you” and “goodbye” to people.

6. Do have fun at your office Christmas party

One of the most important pieces of advice about the office Christmas party is to have fun! You’ve worked hard all throughout the year, so this is your chance to enjoy yourself and celebrate.

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