Do’s and Don’ts for your office party

Holiday festivities are great. You can overindulge in Baileys–in your personal life. You can eat yourself into a mince pie induced coma–in your personal life. You could even walk around wearing nothing but a novelty singing christmas jumper if you’re so inclined–in your personal life. 

When it comes to office parties, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and go wild. Anything you do will be witnessed by your bosses and could affect the future of your career trajectory. The office party is no Vegas; what happens at the office party, stays in office memory. 

Want to avoid embarrassment? Just call us your festive fairy godmothers! We’ve outlined some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when attending an office party. 

Do respond to the invitation – It’s polite to be prompt. Make sure you RSVP within 48 hours if possible. Office parties are kind of mandatory, unless you have a conflicting arrangement you really can’t get out of, you should definitely attend. 

Do check the dress code – It’s always worth double checking if there’s a dress code for the office party. Very few things in life are more embarrassing than turning up in a novelty Christmas jumper, to mingle with a sea of cocktail dresses and suits. Remember this is your workplace, you don’t want to wear anything too sheer, tight or provocative. 

Don’t outstay your welcome – Anyone who’s ever thrown a party has probably experienced the frustration of the hanger on. You’ve politely thrown 99% of your guests out and now only one friend of a friend,who you’re not sure you invited anyway, stands between you and a hard earned collapse on the sofa. ‘Last man standing’ might sound like a coveted title, but at the office party, you’ll come across as ‘the one who didn’t get the hint’. Arrive on time and don’t be the last to leave. 

Do talk with everyone – Work parties are a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues and become visible to your organisation’s leadership. You should always greet people warmly, with a smile on your face–after all, why waste a networking opportunity? 

Don’t drink too much – In the interest of avoiding being labelled ‘Lightweight Laura’ for the rest of your professional career, make sure you don’t drink too much. The guy who passed out behind the photocopier rarely gets the promotion. 

Don’t binge at the buffet – Buffets are, unfortunately, meant to be shared. As tempting as it may be to pile your plate with every sausage roll in sight, remember to be considerate and take only your share. Etiquette experts also recommend avoiding walking around with your plate, double dipping, or eating while still at the buffet table.  

Don’t flirt – We’ve all been there. Away from the fluorescent lighting of the office, encouraged by a gin or two, you start to see the new girl/guy from Accounting differently. The reality? Flirting with colleagues is never a good idea. True love is rarely found at the office party and one night stands with someone you’ll definitely see every day after can be excruciating. Our advice? Calm down Casanova, talk about the weather and move on. 

Do give work a rest – Think you should quickly ‘check your emails’ because, well, you’re in the office already aren’t you? Trust us, that client won’t be charmed by your spelling errors or ‘xoxo’ sign off. 

Do face the music – Even if you spent the whole night necking bottles of champagne, dazzling with an unprompted rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, double dipping into the hummus, and chatting up the CEO, better to face the music and endure side eyes and reenactments for a day, than to call in sick the next day. You’ve made your bed, now lie in it! 

Don’t cause a data breach – From group photos in the office which accidentally include a client list in the background, to the marketer who accidentally posts on the company social media account, thinking it’s their personal platform…when alcohol enters the workplace, the possibilities for a data breach are endless. Approach with caution and if the worst happens, get in touch!

Want to improve your work culture further? Check out our article on Compassion in the Workplace.

RECENT POSTS