Office Christmas party dos and don’ts

By Robert Half 5 December 2017

The true spirit of Christmas revolves around caring, sharing and being grateful for all we have, right?

Yet bring a bunch of colleagues together for an office Christmas party and it tends to be all about excess. Excessive drinking, excessive talking, excessive eating, excessive divulging.

You get the picture.

Put the following dos and don’ts in your party etiquette practice and chances are you’ll end up with a job on the other side of the Christmas break.

Don’t drink too much

This has to be the most common mistake at office parties. Let the alcohol flow – without exchange of any money – and watch the drunkenness ignite one of the career mistakes that most regret.

It can be a source of hilarity for everyone else, but if that drunken man or maiden is you, news flash – they’re laughing at you, not with you. Being inebriated relaxes your inhibitions and can bring out the party animal in all of us.

Great for dancing on New Year’s Eve with your nearest and dearest; inappropriate in the company of your work colleagues.

Limit yourself to a few glasses of the good stuff and stop while you’re still in control of your faculties, or you’ll be the casualty everyone is talking about the next day after the office Christmas party.

Don’t complain or whine

When you’re outside the office and without the veil of silence that the solemnity of the office can bring, it’s easy to partake in office gossip quite candidly about workmates or whinge about rules, decisions or other work-related issues.

Don’t bring the mood down by being negative at what should be a celebratory occasion. Now’s not the time to tell people how you really feel about them or start spreading rumours.

Do be professional

Sure, let your guard down, dress up more and oil your social wheels with questions about children, families and holidays.

But remember that this party is an extension of your job, which pays your bills and keeps your career heading in the right direction.

View the office Christmas party as an opportunity to connect with your colleagues outside of work and build on the networks you rely upon to get things done.

Do get involved

If there are games or opportunities to get to know your work peers at your office party, take part in them. Don’t sit in the corner and text your friends or post pictures on Facebook.

Be a team player and hand out food – a great way to make conversation with people. And don’t just mingle with the same two friends you sit next to every day.

Try to go out of your way to connect with at least one person you don’t engage with during your normal work life.

Have fun at your office Christmas party...but within reason!

And the most important piece of advice about the office Christmas party? Have fun! This is your chance to shine and celebrate all the good stuff you’ve achieved throughout the year.

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