The traditional office party provides you with the chance to meet up with your work colleagues in a social situation, enjoy yourself and celebrate the end of the year. However, this doesn’t give you the excuse to act any less professional, as your managers and directors will most likely also be in attendance. If you can successfully navigate the office Christmas party, not only will you have a good time with your workmates, but you’ll make a lasting positive impression and useful contacts from other departments. Here are some essential Do’s and Don’ts for any office party.
Although you don’t have to attend your office party, it’s a good idea to do so. They’re great for increasing company morale and cohesion, and it’s here where your workmates could turn into real, life-long friends.
Even if you can’t stand the thought of spending the evening with the people you work with on a daily basis, by making an appearance, you’re showing you’re still part of the team. That may come in useful one day.
- Make sure you mingle
Office parties are a great excuse to talk to people from different departments, as well as people who are higher up. This gives you a great opportunity if you’ve wanted to speak to them for a while but not had the chance. The trick to successful mingling is to view the goal as making a good impression, rather than hoping to find a best friend, and to impress your boss.
- Ensure you can always shake someone’s hand
In order to make a good impression, you will need to have your right hand free at all times, so make sure you’re never holding a glass and a plate. It’ll look rude to not shake hands, so make use of the available surface to place things, if you need to.
- Don’t get drunk
Whilst there will be free alcohol, remember that this is still a work event and you will be judged on the way you act throughout the night. The best tactic is to present yourself in the best possible light, rather than getting drunk. Even if your boss is extremely drunk, know your limit and stick to it.
- Dress appropriately
Your office Christmas party isn’t the best place to wear a small little black dress or an ill-fitting suit. Ensure you know the dress code ahead of time, and if you’re still worried, talk to some other people in the office to find out what they will be wearing.
- Don’t trap people
At your party, you may fall into conversation with someone you really want to keep talking with, but the chances are, they will want to mingle and network. By making sure each conversation lasts around 10 or 15 minutes, you will make sure you don’t become the ‘boring person’ of the party.
- Don’t get involved with gossip
It’s always unwise to gossip or spread rumours at work, and getting drunk and revealing too much about your personal life only sets you up for embarrassment. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the moment; especially when you’re drinking and in a different environment, so try and keep small talk general. Acceptable topics for discussion are holidays, families and children.
- Don’t leave anyone on their own
If you find yourself on the other side of point six and find yourself stuck with someone who you find terribly dull, don’t simply leave them standing on their own as it’s incredibly rude.
Instead, simply explain you’ve just seen someone you need to catch up with and introduce them to someone else before leaving the conversation.
- Don’t leave too early
Always stay for an appropriate amount of time at the office Christmas party, especially if it’s a sit down dinner. A lot of time and energy will have been put into planning the party and it’ll look rude and anti-social to leave early.