It’s that time of the year again…the tree is up, the holiday sweaters are on, the invites have been sent, it’s time for the office Christmas party! Last year, I shared some tips on how to throw a memorable holiday office party (Read this blog here: Bring In The Holidays With A Merry Little Office Party). This year, we’ll learn the do’s and don’ts of attending that said office party.
Tip #1 – Be Merry, Don’t Be The Office Grinch
This time of the year can be pretty difficult for those of us who may be a little on the shy side. However, you shouldn’t let the anxiety of stepping outside of your office cubicle put you in a grinchy mood. Attending an office event in poor spirits is worse than not attending the event at all. Instead of sitting at your desk while the festivities happen outside your office door, make the decision to participate. Allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone and join in the joyous activities.
If your office is having an ugly sweater contest, join in by wearing the worst holiday sweater you can find. Mingle with your co-workers, participate in games, and have a drink or two. If needed, step away from all the excitement and take a breather.
It’s important to remember that the company took the time to put together a wonderful event for the office, and although it may not reflect on what you do in your day to day work, attending the event in good spirits shows that you are a team player.
Tip #2 – It’s an Office Party, Keep It Classy
Tis’ the season to be jolly but not inebriated. If you find yourself sob-singing to Adele’s “Someone Like You” on the office’s karaoke machine, you may have had one too many. At some office parties, the company will offer free food and drinks but this does not give you permission to start your own game of “all you can drink.”
Remember at social events, office etiquette still remains. You wouldn’t get drunk on the job, nor should you at an office party. Pace yourself and make sure you are alternating alcohol with water or juice. Keep it classy and you’ll maintain the respect of your co-workers.
Tip #3 – Keep Conversations Light
One of the biggest don’ts of attending an office party is taking the time to really dive into the political and religious backgrounds of your co-workers. For one, politics and religion have no place in the workplace and personal beliefs shouldn’t be expressed during a cheerful occasion as it can excite arguments, judgement, and can be a downright party killer.
Other than politics and religion, you should also remember that the office party is not the best time to gossip about another co-worker, confess your attraction to your colleague, or express any anger towards your superiors.
Instead, keep the conversations light. Talk about family, sports, movies, and music. Maybe share a hobby that you’ve taken up or a recipe you tried recently. By keeping the conversation light, you are inviting your co-workers to get to know you in a positive way. You are keeping the mood of the office friendly and allowing everyone to feel comfortable in your presence.
Here are a few other things you shouldn’t do at the Office Christmas Party:
- Trap your co-workers under the mistletoe
- Make thoughtless posts on social media
- Not venture outside of your social group
- Dress inappropriately
- Forget names
- Come to the event sick
- Tell insensitive jokes
- Talk about work
Office holiday parties are a great way to get to know your colleagues and create a stress free environment. Participating in activities and keeping a level head can all lead to boosting company morale, productivity and improving relationships with those in your office. By following the tips in this blog, you are sure to survive your next office holiday party.