“Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la, la la la la! But not ‘too’ jolly, hey? Whether the thought of the work Christmas party fills you with dread or has you jumping for joy, once you are there it is easy to get carried away and wake up the next day with a sore head and an appointment with your line manager. We have put together our 9 top tips for surviving the perilous social minefield that is ‘the office Christmas party'!!
1. Don’t skip it
Even if you really don’t want to go, making an appearance will show your commitment to the company and willingness to be part of the team.
2. Eat before you drink
Try to have a sandwich or bowl of pasta before you start drinking because a free bar and an empty stomach are a sure recipe for disaster.
3. Get involved
We aren’t saying do the conga with Kath from the canteen, but looking bored and acting as if you'd rather be on the sofa watching Frozen, is as bad as not turning up at all. Try not to frown, slouch, cross your arms, or yawn because you never know who might be watching you.
4. Put your phone down
Answering calls or scrolling through your social media feeds is another big no, no. Put your phone onto silent or turn it off altogether and let people go to voicemail or your call answering service and you can check the messages when you pop to the loo.
5. Know your limits
Yes, the drinks might be free but while those shots seem like a good idea at midnight, you may well regret having had them the next day. It's really easy to do something outrageous after one too many, so pace yourself, drink plenty of water and maybe buddy up with a colleague so you don’t do anything daft.
6. What happens at the office party
When it comes to social media, sharing photos of Harry from HR passed out on the dance floor probably won’t do you any favours. Yes, take selfies and post them on Facebook, but what happens at the office party, stays right there if you want your promotion to remain on track.
7. Keep it professional
It can be tempting, and easy, to tell people exactly what you think of your boss when you’ve had couple of Cosmopolitans but it is amazing how fast those words will get back to them, leaving you with a red face. Don’t use the office party as a way to offload your grievances, keep things light-hearted and as the saying goes, ‘if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all’.
8. Keep away from the mistletoe
One glass of wine too many and the HR Director might look like Tom Cruise, but don’t do anything you will regret, or that could put your job on the line. Yes, have fun but the Christmas party isn’t the time to hit on your boss or declare true love to the IT guy.
9. Say thank you
If you can, say thank you to the organisers of the party before you leave or send them an email the next day, and they really will appreciate it.
Whatever you do, keep safe and have fun this Christmas!