Christmas parties are meant to be fun, but how much fun is too much fun?
What’s the etiquette of a work Christmas party? Should you:
a) Let your hair down and treat it just like any party? After all, you’ve worked so hard all year. You deserve a break; OR
b) Should you tread with caution?
The correct answer is B, tread with caution. You can still have fun, but remember, you’re still at work. Ensure you maintain your polished, professional image.
Here are a few steps to follow while attending your work function:
1. Dress appropriately.
A lot of skin is inappropriate. Short hem lines, with cleavage on display leaves a bad impression. Smart casual is best. A nice flowing dress is always a winner. Remember, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. The image you project will be remembered.
This is the perfect opportunity for you meet people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with at work. Make the most of it. Don’t just sit with your peers from your department. Go and chat with the other employees from other divisions.
3. Avoid excessive drinking
This is a big one. Be careful not to drink too much because, as I’m sure you’re all aware, alcohol wil… shall we say, lower your inhibitions?Your sober colleagues will remember your behaviour and you may damage your respected reputation. The key is to remember that you’re still at work. It’s really a true “social” situation. Limit yourself to one drink per hour with a non alcoholic drink in between. Or, if you’re looking to let your hair down and celebrate, know your limits.
4. Keep the conversation light.
Avoid the topic of work. Ask questions about your colleagues and listen attentively. Great topics include sports, movies, your favourite holidays – even the food and the scenery at the venue. Avoid being negative at all costs. Nobody likes to listen to a sook. It’s a party, after all! Avoid the usual topics of politics, religion and bad jokes. The topic of sex is just poor taste.
5. Never make out in public with a colleague!
And we mean NEVER! The work party is not the time to devote your love to a work crush. Especially stay away from sexual behaviour towards your superiors and peers sexual harassment laws are still in place at a work function.
6. Appropriate level of affection.
You walked in with (hopefully) a great reputation. Why ruin months – maybe years – of hard work with a not-so-subtle place of the hand in public?
7. Be safe get a taxi.
The biggest lesson here is to avoid too much alcohol, dress appropriately, and watch your level of affection.