Know what you should avoid like the plague


The Office Christmas Party time is here again, and you certainly don’t want to be the one that everybody talks and laughs about the day after, or worse, the one that gets fired, so here’s an etiquette guide to get you through the office Christmas party with flying colours.

We know it’s the end of the working year and you feel like celebrating the fact that the holidays are just around the corner, but be careful, this is not the place nor the time to get your wild party animal out. Inappropriate behaviour can, and will, have a negative impact on your career and in your future within the company.

Many colleagues look forward to the office party, others hate it and would much rather get a bonus instead, but either way, it is inevitable, the Christmas event is here, and you shouldn’t avoid it. The yearly get-together is an excellent opportunity to get to know better your co-workers and become more part of the team. It is also the perfect moment to show your appreciation to your superiors and why not, to score some brownie points with your boss.

To make the best of your office Christmas party there are a few things you must avoid like the plague:


1 - Too much Alcohol

Let’s begin with the obvious: too much alcohol and office party do not mix. Period. Usually, the booze is flowing free at these events, but that doesn’t mean you should accept each and every glass the waiter offers you, mainly if you’re not used to drinking. Stay in control. Although it is called a party, don’t forget you’re still in your working environment. Maybe a couple of glasses can help you loosen up, but it’s only a step away from making a fool of yourself. There’s a thin line between merry and drunk, and you should never, ever, cross that line at the Office Christmas party or you may end up having an argument with that annoying co-worker you can stand, dancing and singing on the stage or tables and, God forbid, removing some items of clothing or making a pass at your boss! In the USA, 33% of workers admitted having had sex with colleagues at or after the company’s party. This kind of “team bonding” is an absolute NO-GO, unless you want to become the centre of all gossips.

2 - Overly sexy outfits

It is a party, and you should look good, of course, but as we told you before, you’re basically still at work, and you wouldn’t want to send a wrong message to your co-workers, right? Your image at the office shouldn’t be tainted by excessively short and tight dresses, a plunging neckline, too much makeup and perfume; you want to be seen as a professional and not as Jessica Rabbit.

3 - Complaining and sharing secrets

It is time to celebrate. Avoid complaining about work, your boss or life in general. These are your co-workers and executives, not your close friends or family. If you want to talk about work, talk about the successes you and the company had during the year, avoid difficult subjects and discussions and don’t even dream of getting too personal and sharing secrets regarding your life or your co-workers’. Try to mingle and talk to as many people as possible.

Office Christmas Party Etiquette

4 - Inappropriate behaviour

We all like to have fun, and a little flirting doesn’t harm anyone, right? Well, not really. It is hard to tell how many drinks your colleagues have had and whether they won’t cross the boundaries, so if you sense any kind of flirtatious mood or rude behaviour coming from your co-workers, make sure to stop them right away. If you aren’t able to stop the unwanted advances, and depending on the alcohol level, you most probably won’t, find an excuse to move away politely before you have to cry #Metoo. Remember, prevention is better than the cure.

5 - Inappropriate use of social media

Be aware of what you post on social media. Embarrassing photos of your colleagues should not be posted on Instagram or Facebook, as much as you think it would be fun. Respect the privacy and image of your co-workers and your company.

Having said all that, we hope you relax, but not too much, have fun, but not too much either, and have a great party!


Photo via Shutterstock