What Not to Do at Your Office Holiday Party

The company holiday party is far from just another day at the office. For most, it’s a chance to relax and socialize with co-workers. It might even be the perfect opportunity to chat up senior executives. It’s a time designated for recognizing employee and company achievements, and thanking those who have helped along the way. We’re all fairly aware of what the office party label entails. But what is NOT considered appropriate etiquette for such an occasion? Well, we’ve put together the following list to highlight four things you should most definitely avoid at your office holiday party:

 “One more” glass of wine/cocktail/victory shot of Canadian whisky. You know the line; we’ve all heard it before, whether bursting out from behind our own guilty lips or those of a friend or colleague. “Sure, why not? I’ll just have one more.” Don’t do it. Not here, not now. That extra drink may be all it takes to put you over the edge. Right now you may feel all calm and collected; but before you know it, you could be “that guy” who tripped over the server’s shoe and dove head first into the calamari platter. And you’ll be sitting at your desk Monday morning swearing you’ll never drink again.

The first date. Whether it’s a co-worker, a neighbour or someone you just met online – the office holiday party is no place to host your first date. Maybe you and Bill have been shooting flirtatious smiles across the cubicles for a few months now, and you’re thinking this is finally your chance to take it to the next level. It’s not. And don’t go searching for someone to bring along as your plus one simply because you’re afraid to go stag. It’s just too risky – and not in a “dangerous romance” kind of way.

Showing up the boss. You know that vendetta you’ve been holding against your boss ever since the board meeting when he crushed your genius planfor combining work and physical activity by trading out computer chairs for exercise balls? Get over it. Or at least save it for later. The office holiday party is not an opportune time to voice what you would do differently if you ran the company, no matter how brave you are feeling at the time.

Wearing your Madonna concert t-shirt. We’re not suggesting you need to wear stilettos or even a suit, but it’s important to keep a professional appearance, which means selecting appropriate attire for the occasion. This is especially crucial if you work in a senior management position. You still have to work with these people, and some images manage to take root in our memories for a long time after the party is over.

We hope these points help you avoid potential disaster in the upcoming weeks. Of course, don’t forget to have fun. You can indulge in the food, drink and festivities without going overboard. Just be aware of your actions and remember there is a time and a place for everything – and the office holiday party is probably not it.

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