It’s that time of year again – that’s right, the office Christmas party has reared its head and worn a party hat to really add to the festive occasion!
For some it’s an obligatory event, for others it’s the social occasion of the year.
Whichever it is for you, take a look at our survival guide on how best to adhere to office Christmas party etiquette. And remember – you have to face these people professionally the next day! Here’s hoping you can mix business with pleasure better than you can mix your drinks.
Alcohol: to drink or not to drink?
Most of the advice in this post would not be necessary were it not for the existence of alcohol. And just because the invitation states ‘open bar’, this is NOT an open invitation to get as drunk as possible.
According to independent research carried out by Norwich Union Healthcare, the average amount drunk at Christmas work parties this year will be seven units (i.e. seven glasses of wine, seven single spirits, or 3.5 pints) – although 18% are planning to consume only alcohol-free drinks.
The great worst thing about alcohol is that it has the unmatchable power to make you act like a complete idiot – whilst giving you the feeling of thinking you’re the smartest person on the planet.
Avoid trending on Twitter for the wrong reasons by following these simple rules:
- If you’re going to drink, pace yourself. My personal rule of thumb is, stop drinking as soon as you start to feel a bit tipsy. Mix it up with a bit of water. Don’t drink doubles.
- If you’ve ever had to say “but I’m usually a good drunk”, chances are you probably aren’t.
- Look after your mates – if you see one of your office friends starting to go off the rails, bring them back on board. If necessary – get them out of there before they ruin their chances of a promotion!
- If you can’t tell who the drunkest person in the room is, it’s probably you. Take that as your cue to leave.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth (especially when he’s stood right behind you)
So some of us would rather be anywhere else than spending the evening partying with your boss. But even if it’s a terrible party, try to be gracious and show a bit of gratitude to the people who have taken the time to organise the party i.e. such as thanking them for holding the event instead of referring to your boss as, oh I don’t know, ‘cheap’?
Thankfully this video was in fact a hoax, ranking as one of the top 50 viral videos of all time. But should you find yourself ‘indiscreetly’ voicing your opinions about your line manager, you may want to check your surroundings. Failing that, you could always quit.
Some advice about the dancing
No one wants to be a killjoy. Try to at least leave a small part of your self-consciousness to one side. However, dancing at your company’s Christmas party is a dangerous sport indeed that can go from a playful bit of team-bonding to twerking. There’s never an excuse for twerking at the office Christmas party.
With this in mind, here are a couple of helpful tips:
- Don’t be the only one dancing. Don’t be the person in the middle of the circle.
- Don’t play to the camera. If there’s a camera about, it’s probably a good idea to stay inconspicuous. On the night, you may believe that you’re the life of the party. But when you and everyone else are watching your moves the next day, you will feel like the party has been the death of you. The only exception to this rule is if you are this guy:
- Don’t pull any of these moves. You will not look cool. You do not want to be this person.
Karaoke + Cameras = Disaster
Whose idea was it to have karaoke at the office Christmas party?! Our only advice to you – leave the karaoke to the really drunk people.
Keep the end-of-the-night kisses innocent
Nothing sets tongues wagging like an office affair; so don’t start doing it when there’s an audience.
According to etiquette experts Debretts, 14% of us are scared of having a mishap under the mistletoe at the office Christmas party.
Everyone knows that affection is at its peak when intoxicated, and you can’t help but declare your undying love for your manager/co-worker/someone you’ve never met before when you’ve drunk the bar dry. But try to think about the consequences – are you sure you want to embark on an office romance? Once you’ve taken those beer goggles off, you may find that you’ve misjudged just how appealing your colleague “isn’t”.
A survey conducted by Canon revealed that 1/3 of employees had either kissed a co-worker, or ended up going home with them after the company Christmas party.
Don’t let your romantic liaisons become a montage for the world and sundry to see. Otherwise you may need to set yourself a completely different New Year’s resolution.
Stick to the dress code
We all want to dress to impress, but make sure you know exactly what the dress code is. Stand out for the right reasons! Don’t be this guy…
Make sure to turn up the next day
Aside from the obvious reason of keeping your job, there are two further incentives to turn up:
- You aren’t fooling anyone. Even if you are actually ill, and by that we mean in a non-self-inflicted sense, no one is going to believe it for a second.
- If you did do something embarrassing the night before, people are going to talk about it a lot less if you’re around.
- Plus it’s fun to find out what other goings-on occurred that you may have potentially missed.
Office parties are all about having fun, being merry, and letting your hair down. Just make sure the laughs are not at the expense of your career.