Now that John Lewis’ obligatory and heartwarming announcement has aired, and your usually dreary and tired local high street has been draped in tinsel and garlands, it’s time to accept the inevitable: Christmas is officially on its way.
On top of this, it means your credit card is about to take the mother of all beatings, and you’ll soon be forced to spend time at the dining room table with your in-laws, it also means the dreaded office party is just around the corner. around the corner. .
While spending an afternoon of music, dancing, drinking, and small talk with your colleagues might sound like your idea of hell, especially if you’re the resident office Scrooge, it can actually be a lot of fun, not to mention a great opportunity to celebrate it all. what you and your peers have accomplished throughout the year.
Alexander Dick, CEO of Alexander Lyons Solutions, explains that whatever the occasion, there are some important “do’s and don’ts” to remember when the office party rolls around and the best ones are outlined below, should you need to brush up on your social etiquette before the main event, and by doing so, avoid having a nightmare before Christmas!
DON’T get too drunk
It’s a story as old as time: You go to the office Christmas party, order too many drinks from the open bar, and end up making a fool of yourself in front of your boss and the rest of your coworkers. workers
While it can be tempting to let your hair down like this, and it’s absolutely an opportunity to have fun, you have to remember that you’re not out on a night out with old school friends; You are among the people with whom you share an office for up to 40 hours a week. After all, you don’t want to hear people gossip about you as you stumble across your desk the next morning, hungover from hell.
To avoid such an eventuality, be sure to eat well before the party, don’t mix your drinks, pace yourself, and have a glass of water if you feel like you’re reaching your limit. Follow these steps, and you should make it through the night without dating that Accounts person you’ve always had feelings for, or having an alcohol-induced fight with your team leader.
BE SURE to attend
While this may sound blatantly obvious, it’s important to make sure you’re actually going to be there that night.
The reason I’m making this comment is because 27% of us dread going to the office Christmas party, according to CV Library, and the number rises to almost a third, 31.4%, among those aged between 45 and 54 years.
If you count yourself in this number, you should do everything you can to overcome your fears and join in the celebration, even if, as is often the case, attendance is optional. This is because the event can be a great way to get to know your colleagues better outside of the office environment and show that you are a team player who is not just working for a salary.
If you go with the flow and get into the spirit of the night, you might as well have fun!
DO NOT start controversial discussions
With the Christmas holidays almost upon you, it stands to reason that neither you nor your colleagues want to talk much about work or what tasks need to be completed once you return in the New Year.
While avoiding work-related conversations is, of course, a smart move at the Christmas party, there are other topics of discussion that are best left alone as well. This is because offices are often a microcosm for society at large and the myriad of viewpoints people hold. Since many companies employ people of various ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc., you should be aware that some areas of discussion, such as politics and religion, are likely to be controversial with colleagues, especially if your opinion on the issue differs greatly from yours.
Even if you have particularly strong opinions on a certain topic, but you know it could cause controversy that could spoil the evening, try to keep your opinions to yourself and steer the conversation toward topics that are safer, like what you’ve been watching on Netflix. , or what are your plans for Christmas, instead of those that are only going to cause division and discussion.
Take note of the dress code.
While showing up to the office Christmas party is one thing, making sure you’re dressed appropriately is another entirely.
If your boss has reserved a table at a fancy holiday banquet, for example, it’s unlikely that a tie-dye T-shirt, ripped jeans, and a pair of Converse sneakers are going to cut it.
To avoid being that person who isn’t let in because they’re criminally underdressed, be sure to check what the dress code is with your manager, or at least find out what your colleagues will be wearing so you can dress accordingly.
Likewise, if you’re just going out bowling and having a few casual drinks, you don’t want to be the goofball that shows up in a three-piece suit or billowy ball gown. While it may not be your first idea, controlling the dress code can be key to your comfort and enjoyment, and to avoiding embarrassment, at night.
DO NOT leave too early
It may have taken a lot of willpower to make sure you were there that night, but if you’re the type of person who dreads the Christmas party, try to resist the urge to leave early.
While you may not consider it a big deal, you should remember that a lot of time and effort may have gone into planning the event for you to enjoy, so leaving early to watch the finale of Strictly may seem rude and elusive.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you should be the last person standing, to the point where you should be dragged out of the venue kicking and screaming, but you should aim to spend a reasonable amount of time at the event. Enjoy the food and drinks, take some time to talk to your colleagues and the evening will fly by, so much so that I doubt you’ll be sitting there looking at your watch the whole time.
Office Christmas party etiquette is one thing, and it’s important. While there are definite dos and don’ts for this holiday-themed event, you shouldn’t get so bogged down with them that you forget to enjoy yourself.
You and your colleagues have worked hard all year and as such have earned the right to have fun and celebrate all you have accomplished as a team. Leading up to the New Year, it’s important to reflect on all of this and take some time to enjoy the moment, particularly as the 9 to 5 work can often be rushed and there isn’t always an excellent opportunity to stop and take stock. of your achievements.
So, go to your office Christmas party, have fun with your colleagues, and make this year’s event one to remember – just make sure it’s for the right reasons!