Beware the perils of the Xmas office party

by | 20.12.19

The Xmas office party is an annual event that most people look forward to and it’s a great way off blowing off steam after a long year of working

Making a fool of yourself at the office party is something to be avoided at all costs. After all, you’ll be obliged to front up to your colleagues and boss the next day and if they have lowered their opinion of you since the party, it’ll feel more than awkward …

The key is the party should be a fun experience for everyone and that does not necessarily mean bad behaviour. Here are some tips …

Prepare yourself mentally

Regardless of how you feel about the party or your colleagues, office parties are part of the workplace dynamic. Think of it like a Sunday afternoon visit to Grandma – even if you don’t feel like it, you know that you really should go.


Be prepared to be sociable

Office parties are a great opportunity to meet your bosses in a casual environment and a chance to network. Both are great things to do in order to escalate your career. It’s also a good opportunity to get to know your colleagues better.

Enjoy letting the boss pay

Here is your chance to enjoy food and alcohol at your boss’s expense. Eat to your hearts content, but limit the booze, you want to be sober at the end of the evening not rolling around the floor as drunk as a skunk.


Plan you exit

Consider leaving early in advance. It is good to come up with a valid early exit strategy, such as having to attend your spouse’s Xmas party. At least you will then be in a position to leave early before anything becomes awkward.


Arrange an emergency get out

Organise a friend to calling you at a set time, take the call out of earshot then return to the party and say you must leave on an urgent matter, that way if you are bored you will be in a position to make a quick exit.


Find out the dress code

Find out what everyone else is wearing before the party and match the tone with your outfit. The main rules are though do not wear anything outrageous, revealing or too much like you would wear to the office. Dress appropriately, but always dress to impress.


Arrive on time

This is an office party, you’re not going clubbing. So turning up ‘fashionably late’ is not an option and could have you missing out on all the fun. Arriving on time gives you the opportunity to say hello to everyone and still get out early without seeming rude.


Be sure to mingle

Make sure you talk to all your colleagues and especially your superiors, this will put you in good stead. The Xmas party is an excellent opportunity to cement relationships and get known in the Company in a good way.


Drink responsibly

The normal rules of gross misconduct also apply at the Xmas party. Drinking irresponsibly can result in lett Save & Add To Library ing your barriers down, but remember insubordination, harassment, violence or damaging Company property could result in you being dismissed, don’t risk it.


Be careful about starting a romantic liaison

It’s Xmas, your enjoying yourself and all of a sudden one of your colleagues looks incredibly wonderful, you may be tempted to make a move but remember to ask yourself, “do I really fancy them?” or ‘what will be the implications’. Have a reality check. If you are not sure under no circumstances should you make a move.


Help your colleagues

If you see one of your colleagues drinking too much step in and help them out. Explain to them what they are doing and how they appear to others. If they won’t listen discreetly ring a cab and take them home if necessary, you don’t want them to lose their job.


Don’t gossip

No matter what you may think about your boss or your colleagues the Xmas party is not the place to tell them how you really feel. Spreading rumours about colleagues is not nice. Anything you might say or do at the Xmas party is bound to be talked about so think before you talk.


Go to work the next day

The office Xmas party is definitely time for enjoying yourself. But don’t forget there is still work to do, some employers will allow staff to come to work a little later the next day or even have the day off but ringing in sick will look really, really bad so don’t even think about it.


Only have photos taken if you are happy to have them shared

Under UK law there is generally no right to privacy when a photo is taken in a public place so unless you own the photo it could be shared on social media. The only way around this is GDPR where you have the ‘right to be forgotten’ and can request your employer permanently removes your image. But best not you go there in the first place if you have a problem with being looked at – you don’t want to look as if you’re hiding something.

Well there you go, we hope this has helped you, the key to it though is to remember effectively you are ‘still at work’ and to conduct yourself accordingly. Big ‘no no’s’ are drinking too much, gossiping, asking for a pay rise, making unwelcome advances, becoming aggressive and forgetting to enjoy yourself.


Have a good time





We hope that this has helped you, remember if you want to get on in the workplace, like at School, you must behave. Immature or inappropriate behaviour will not move you up the career ladder. Working hard and always being professional will.

Have a wonderful career.