As the festive season is pretty much upon us, there’s one social event that brings most of us with equal amounts of excitement and dread: the office Christmas party.
Here are the 10 commandments to follow on the night that should get you through it without being talked about for all the wrong reasons.
1- You shall attend (even if you don’t want to)
Regardless of how you feel about the party or your colleagues, the Christmas Party is a crucial part of the office dynamic. It’s the opportunity to relax -within reason- with your superiors in a more casual environment and it’s also a great opportunity to network. Not to mention your absence will definitely be noted by your boss.
2- You shall dress approprietly…and keep your clothes on
The best way to avoid wardrobe malfunctions is to ask for the dress code, if it is not mentioned on the invite. Avoid the tacky Christmas sweater, too tight or too revealing clothing. And yes, keep your clothes on! You don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of the entire company.
3- You shall not get drunk
It’s a party, so you can expect a lot of people to get a bit tipsy. But there is a big difference between having a few and dancing on the bar naked or starting a fight. The latter could actually land you in big trouble. Slurring to your boss will probably not make a great impression either. And for Pete’s sake don’t drink and drive!!
4- You shall mind your table manners
Be sure to remember your table manners and choose your menu carefully. Avoid difficult to eat or overly messy foods that are sure to cause an accident which will leave you sporting a Christmas decoration to disguise your faux pas.
If there is a buffet, remember the food is for everyone to enjoy. Don’t overload your plate or make 4 passes at the table.
5- You shall not talk about work
Don’t be a bore and just talk about work and certainly don’t go in to your lists of grievances about your job or your colleagues. Don’t ask your boss for a raise either. The Christmas party is neither the time nor the place. Keep your conversations upbeat and interesting.
6- You shall not be overly affectionate or make inappropriate advances
There is always those one or two people who are overly flirty and touchy feely. Dont be one of them. After a few drinks, Jane from Marketing may look like Angelina Jolie but remember, she won’t on Monday morning at the coffee machine. Same goes with Rob in Accounting. He doesn’t look like Brad Pitt either. Tread very carefully! You don’t want your -drunken- attentions to be misinterpreted.
7- You shall mingle
Don’t be a wallflower; don’t spend the evening with your boss or your usual office pals either. The Christmas Party is actually a great opportunity to talk to people you don’t know very well.
8- You shall not bring a total stranger as your guest
First, check that you are actually allowed to come with someone to the party. Usually, a “plus one” means a spouse or a partner. Your blind date is not suitable for such event. It is perfectly fine to attend the party alone if you are single. Don’t feel like you have to bring someone along with you, just so you have a guest.
9- You shall say goodbye upon leaving and thank the organizers
This is just plain basic courtesy!
10- You shall enjoy yourself
If you follow the 9 previous points, this shall be very easy.
Employers, as a side note, if you want to avoid the common pitfalls of the company Christmas party, upfront communication is key.
- Communicate the expected dress code on the invite
- Communicate whether your employees can bring someone, and who that someone should be
- Communicate your booze-consumption policy – yes, you do need one-
- Communicate your expectations in terms of behaviour
If you need assistance with the above, please contact us. We will be more happy to assist you.