December 15, 2015
It’s the Office Christmas Party - make sure you have fun, but not too much!
We all know that a whole year's hard work, character-building and unblemished office reputation can be destroyed in one false move, one wrong word or one ill-informed tweet.
There are some definite dos and don’ts when it comes to the office Christmas party. So here are some tips to make the party swing safely;
- As difficult as it sounds try not to drink too much, and be careful not to drink on an empty stomach. The bar may be free, but your dignity and reputation are priceless.
- Stay away from the mistletoe! Be careful – very careful – about taking your flirting too far. Just because you’re feeling lascivious doesn’t mean others are sharing your mood – and even if they are, this is not the time or place for drunken hook-ups, unless you don’t mind being the subject of salacious post-party office gossip. There will always be a colleague on hand to remind you in the morning or worse, have snapped the photos on their phone in case you forgot.
Remember, work colleagues are not just for Christmas!
- Dress appropriately. Even though this is a social affair, these are your colleagues and your boss and it’s simply not appropriate to wear anything too revealing. Save those sexy clothes for when you’re clubbing with your friends – but keep them away from the office party.
- Don’t let anyone take a photo of you that you’ll regret existing. Every workplace has a wannabe-paparazzi taking pictures at every opportunity, and these days the evidence of your drunken shenanigans will be all over Facebook the next day. Be warned.
- Mingle. The office Christmas party is a great opportunity to talk to people you otherwise wouldn’t have much contact with. Try to mingle and chat with everyone, including partners and spouses.
This is a great networking opportunity, so use it wisely without being an obvious schmoozer. This is your chance to make yourself known – but hopefully not for all the wrong reasons.
- Don’t talk about work. The Christmas party is just that – a party. That means it’s a social event, and not the place to get into the minutiae of the latest project. Leave your professional baggage at the door and try to relax and have a good time.
This is most definitely not the time to ask your boss for that promotion or pay rise. Such discussions are for office hours only!
- Don’t Blame It on the Boogie! Remember to know your dancing .capabilities. If you are no John Travolta then own the square and finger point profusely…. Likewise, if you are a good dancer don’t over-egg the Christmas pudding – no-one likes a complete show-off and while you might be putting your colleagues to shame, you might also be emptying the dancefloor at the same time – and that’s never fun.
- Don’t be a pig. While Christmas is all about indulging and it’s a good idea to eat if you’re drinking alcohol, making a beeline for the food table and stuffing your face before you even grunt hello to your colleagues is never a good look. Save yourself the embarrassment of being labelled the office pig.
- Find a party buddy. If possible, tee up with a party buddy who will watch out for you while you watch out for them – you can keep an eye on each other and tell one another if it’s time to bundle yourself into a cab.
- Most of all have fun. It is possible to have fun at the office Christmas party while keeping your dignity and remaining professional. Allow yourself to let your hair down, talk about something other than work and get to know your colleagues in a more relaxed context. After all, you’re more than mere cogs in the office machinery – just make sure you maintain certain standards of behaviour and you should be able to eat, drink and be merry.
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