As the festive season approaches and we dot the i’s and cross the t’s on those final projects, one last challenge looms before the relief of the holiday break: the office Christmas party. Whether it’s a backyard barbeque or a massive catered hall to rival the feasts at Hogwarts, the venue may vary but there are some rules that apply to every work party. We’ve put together some tips to keep the silly season from getting too silly when you and your co-workers let loose at the end of the year.
One should never pass up the opportunity to earn some extra brownie points, and turning up after hours – even if it’s for the Christmas party – is a great way to ensure you leave a good impression with the higher-ups heading into the New Year. You may be ready to kiss that cubicle goodbye for 2019, but show a bit of Christmas spirit – a little enthusiasm goes a long way in letting people know you enjoy your work and the company of the people you work with.
- Loosen up
The holidays are in sight, so take the opportunity to kick back with your colleagues and shoot the breeze about their plans for Christmas and New Year. This is a chance to socialise without checking the clock – talk about the new house, travel itineraries, and see who shares your passion for the local footy team. Keep office gossip and conversations about work to a minimum – focus on finding out who’s got a pool you can swim in over summer!
If you work for a small company, you probably already know all your colleagues, as well as the names of their cats, dogs and goldfish. However, if you work for a larger organization it is almost certain there are faces you have never seen before or people you know of and haven’t had the chance to introduce yourself to, so quit depriving them of your charm! Take the work party as an opportunity to create more networks within the workplace – you never know when you’ll need a favour.
- Dress appropriately
Deciding what to wear can be a minefield – you want to impress your supervisors without seeming too straight-laced to enjoy yourself. If you are unsure of the dress code, smart casual is always a safe bet. You might like to ask your workmates what they are wearing as a guideline for what to wear – you don’t want to be the guy in a Santa suit if everyone else is in Armani. Remember it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, so leave the baggy jeans and booty shorts at home.
- Don’t drink too much
The only thing soaked in liquor should be the trifle. The last thing you want is waking up the next morning with a hangover and recollection of all the things you said about Becky’s smelly sandwiches when she was standing right behind you. Know your limit and keep count of how many drinks you are consuming throughout the night – a red nose look may look charming on Rudolph but it won’t look so becoming on you.
- Have conversation boundaries
Christmas may be about sharing, but that’s not the same as oversharing. It’s important to get to know everyone and be friendly, but there are some personal details and stories the office shouldn’t know about. Remember it’s the festive season, so keep it light. Try to steer clear of recent break-ups, national tragedies and how many biscuits Peter’s been taking from the communal tin.
- Don’t stay with the same people all night
Unless you’re playing the long game to corner your crush under the mistletoe, take the opportunity to mingle and get a bit more familiar with those faces you’ve only seen in passing. While keeping to your office clique may be tempting, take advantage of the fact that it’s much easier to get to know people when you’re gathering over drinks instead of around the water cooler.
Following these tips should see you through the silly season without getting too much eggnog on your face. The end of the year is a great chance to socialise and get to know what your coworkers get up to outside of office hours, so loosen up and have fun, and you may just find yourself a new office buddy for Christmas!