Here’s How to Survive the Office Christmas Party
Everyone knows that these types of events are a chance to socialise with employees, let your hair down and potentially embarrass yourself. Let’s face it, office parties are not always appealing to everyone. There’s the awkward conversations, the run-in with the infamous office gossip. Not to mention trying to avoid your manager who keeps talking about deadlines.
But there is no need to dread your office Christmas party, honest. Office parties are a great addition to your festive calendar and can be so much fun. IF you know how to navigate your way around. So whether it is your first or fifth office party, check out our ultimate dos and don’ts. We’ve also added a few extra tips to guide you when attending the annual work party.
Stick to our guide and you will be in for a treat!
It Is Your Time to Celebrate!
Office parties can be a nightmare to organise and plan – it is common decency to attend (or at least RSVP). An event filled with good food, new faces, old faces and Christmas spirit, why not? Showing an interest and networking within your workforce can take your career to the next level. Annual events like these are the place to start. Also, it is a chance to kick off the festivities with your favourite colleagues after a year of everything having to be mainly virtual. Standing in a corner on your phone checking Instagram will not be enjoyable for you or those around you. Make an effort to put yourself out there and interact, you may see a different side to people. Even if you choose to only stay for an hour, make the most of your time and have fun. It is Christmas after all!
Do: Stick to the Dress Code
Dressing appropriately for a work event is key when you want to make a great impression. It is time to leave the work attire at home and pull out your festive fits. After all, the directors of your company are likely to attend this event. Dressing up is a great way to show your personality and style! Rewear one of your favourite festive outfits or treat yourself to something new (office party appropriate obviously). A tip would be to triple check the invitation, make sure to check if your reindeer antlers and Christmas jumper are appropriate attire before showing up. Get to know the venue and speak to your work friends to figure out the vibe. This will help you to avoid underdressing or overdressing. So make sure to keep it professional but completely comfortable and festive.
Do you have any outfit fails? Let us know in the comments below.
Do: Introduce Yourself
Office life can usually seem like we tackle the same tasks and converse with the same people in our team day in day out. The Christmas party is the perfect opportunity to mingle with employees in other departments and create new relationships. It can be intimidating attending an event where you only know a small percentage of the guestlist. However, try to remember that everyone is human and is in the same boat. Don’t be afraid to start conversations and introduce yourself, you never know who you will come across. It is also important to remember to greet and thank the organisers before you leave or on arrival.
Despite this being a work event, don’t forget that you are not actually at work. The directors of your company put on these annual parties to thank employees for all their hard work and dedication. There is usually some kind of entertainment, Christmas buffet or drinks tab to indulge in. Christmas is the season of giving and generosity so get involved. The party is not a time that you are going to be being judged on your performance, this is your own leisure time so relax, unwind and be yourself.
For Goodness’ Sake, Please Don’t!
Two points are to be made here. Firstly, try and refrain from engaging in office gossip topics. Seriously, do people really want to discuss the workplace and co-workers OUTSIDE of work? You may find yourself in an awkward situation if you are complaining about your job or worse, one of your colleague. If you find yourself standing with people who are gossiping, politely remove yourself or try to change the subject. Keep conversation light and fun!
Secondly, it is really important to make sure you do not become the office gossip. Most of us like to enjoy a few drinks or have a dance whilst we are out. And alcohol makes it very easy for people to forget their surroundings. Or the fact that they may be standing next to their boss whilst ordering shots. Keep it steady and know your limits. Try not to forget that what happens at the office party, doesn’t usually stay at the office party.
Don’t: Drink Too Much
Arguably one of the most important “don’ts” in our guide. Imagine this. You wake up the morning after your office Christmas party and pour yourself a morning coffee. There is a sudden flashback of you falling off a chair, vomiting and telling your boss you hate them. You are now debating whether to search for another job and dreading the upcoming Monday morning. Who wants that?
It is perfectly acceptable to celebrate by having some festive drinks and toasting to hard work. After the pandemic, EVERYONE deserves to enjoy themselves however they wish to. However, overindulging on Christmas cocktails is probably not a great move. So pace yourself!
(Side note – mince pies are great for lining the stomach.)
Don’t: Call in Sick the Next Day
Whether you wake up with a headache or just want to snooze your alarm 15 times make sure to show up to work! Management will be looking out for those who take it too far and those who don’t. Showing up with a raging hangover or not showing up at all can damage your professional reputation. Try not to let all your hard work come undone by getting carried away with the drinks. Drag yourself to the office and get on with it.
Don’t: Start Crying
Although this one may seem obvious, there is always one! If it is you that is prone to shedding a tear or two after a few drinks then maybe stay clear of the free bar. Both happy tears and sad tears are not a good look. The last thing you want to remember when you wake up is weeping on your boss’s shoulder. Posting on social media is a thing and work parties are no exception. You wouldn’t want to wake up to videos of you having a drunken cry all over Instagram. Keep yourself composed and try not to overshare.
Don’t: Stand Under Any Mistletoe
Okay. We have all heard the stories about co-worker relationships at work events, right? Well, to save yourself from months of embarrassment, you will want to avoid this happening to you. Kissing a co-worker at an office party is extremely unprofessional and crosses many boundaries. So keep it classy and stay clear of any mistletoe!
We would love to hear if you have any stories relating to work relationship stories. Feel free to leave a comment below. And don’t forget to share this blog with your team to help everyone prepare for the office party, the right way.
Don’t: Be the Last to Leave the Party
You’ve had some mulled wine, lip-synced to Mariah Carey and connected with loads of new people. So far so good, right?
If you don’t already have an exit plan it is a good idea to assess how the night is going. If it is a sit-down event with a three-course meal, leaving after the first course is not great etiquette. Take into consideration the venue and type of event that has been organised. As the night progresses, have a look to see if your work friends are leaving. Are people getting a little bit too merry? Is the party dying down? Are people requesting to sing karaoke with the microphone? Maybe use this as your cue to leave. Because no one wants to be the last one trying to breakdance on the dance floor.
Office Christmas parties can be difficult to navigate, even for those of us who are socially advanced. We hope our dos and don’ts can help a few of you out as the festive season is fast approaching. With all that being said, the office Christmas party is a chance for you to enjoy the company of your co-workers. Don’t take it too seriously, don’t worry about impressing everyone and just enjoy yourself. We hope you enjoy all your festive celebrations!