Work Christmas Party – How to survive

by | 09.12.21

As the festive season approaches, so does a potentially perilous annual event – the office Christmas party. Your company may not be having one this year because of Covid but many, many organisations have booked a party, so a party they will have. For some people it’s a chance to let their hair down for others it’s an ordeal more painful than dental surgery. Whatever you feel about getting into the holiday spirit, there are some definite dos and don’ts when it comes to the Christmas party. Here are some tips to help you navigate the dangerous festive waters.

Don’t party to hard

Even though guzzling the free booze may seem like a good idea at the time – it’s not. You’re bound to say or do something you shouldn’t and will have to face the consequences afterwards. Make sure you stay sober and upright this will ensure you’re not the one everyone is whispering about on Monday morning.

Don’t jump on your crush

Despite the fun surroundings and a dose of Dutch courage, the Christmas party is not your opportunity to pounce on the office hunk or tell your secret crush what you’d like to do to them behind closed doors. You risk regret, rejection, humiliation or worse. Be careful – very careful – about taking your flirting too far.


We all know that having friends at work makes us happier and more productive. But that doesn’t mean you should just hang out with your mates. The office Christmas party is a great chance to talk to people you otherwise wouldn’t have much contact with.  Try to mingle and chat with everyone. This is fantastic networking opportunity, so use it wisely without being an obvious schmoozer. Use the chance to make yourself known – but not for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t talk about work

The Christmas party is just about that – a party. That means it’s a social event and not the place to discuss your teams latest project. Leave your professional baggage at the door and try to relax and have a good time. Show your colleagues that your more than just the office bore and you really do have a personality buried somewhere beneath that power suit.

Find a party buddy

If possible team up with a party buddy who will watch out for you while you watch out for them. You can keep an eye on each other and tell one another if it’s time to bundle yourself into a cab.

Keep it classy

Even though this is your chance to relax with colleagues, don’t get too loose with your language or behaviour. Avoid off-colour jokes and swearing. Dropping the F-bomb in front of your boss is not the best look. Make sure you maintain your manners.

Don’t use social media

As tempting as it might be to take a picture of the boss doing drunk karaoke, we advise staying away from social media altogether on a night out. Social media is great for sharing pictures and updates with friends and seeing what they are up to, and can be a powerful tool for business. However this doesn’t mean that showing your boss making a fool of themselves is a good idea – it could get you the sack.

Avoid gossip or arguments

No matter what you might think of fellow employees the Christmas party is not the place to tell them how you really feel. The party is definitely not the place to let your true feelings be known and there could be serious repercussions because of it. The same can be said of ‘office gossip’ and spreading rumours about colleagues can end up being harmful and can make people feel isolated. Anything that you might say or do at the party is bound to be then honed the next day.  So think before you speak and conduct yourself professionally.

Watch what you wear

To save any potentially embarrassing moments make sure you are aware of the dress code before the event. There is nothing worse than turning up to a party where everyone is dressed completely differently to you. It’s best to dress for the occasion not necessarily how you would dress when going out on the town with your mates.

Never, ever refuse to attend

Unless you are in hospital or a family member has died I would recommend you attend the Christmas party. Participating in this festive get together is good for boosting morale and promoting team spirit. Having fun alongside your colleagues is going to improve your relationship with them. By refusing to attend the message you are sending is that you really don’t want to be a part of the company and that you don’t like your job. Either that or you are The Grinch.

Don’t overindulge

While Christmas is all about indulgence and it’s a good idea to eat if you are drinking alcohol, making a beeline for the food table and stuffing your face before you even grunt hello to your colleagues is never a good look. It’s hard enough to keep the kilos off if you work in an office job where you don’t move around a lot – save yourself from the embarrassment of being labelled the office pig.

Have a great time

It is possible to have fun at the Christmas party while keeping your dignity and remaining professional. Allow yourself to let your hair down, get into the holiday spirit and talk about something other than work and get to know your colleagues in a more relaxed context. Just make sure that you maintain certain standards of behaviour and you should be able to eat, drink and be merry.

Make sure to go to work the next day

This is another instance where overdoing it on the drink will come back to haunt you. Going into work the next day is important and you need to be sober in order to do that. The office Christmas party is made for kicking back and enjoying yourself, but don’t forget there is still work to do. Some offices will allow employees to come in a little bit later or even have the day off, but there are always going to be a select few who have to hold down the fort the morning after. Ringing in sick is not going to work, so don’t even try it.

So there you go, remember you can’t afford to behave in the same way at the Christmas party that you would at home or out on the town with your mates. Parties and get-togethers are an important feature in company’s its where employees get to know each other better and are able to strengthen their bonds. Go and enjoy yourself but remember to behave.

Have a wonderful time

Good luck

Angela Burton