With Christmas arriving in a few weeks, holiday party season is in full swing. Depending on your workplace, you may have a small gathering in the break room with delicious food and gag gifts, or you may go out to a local hot spot with your co-workers. Here are some ways to have a great experience without potentially risking your job. And if you’re looking to update your office with new pieces before the party, come see us at Wilcox Office Mart!
1.       Determine the dress code as early as possible. Figure out if you need to dress up or keep it casual. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable and professional since you will be in the company of your boss and co-workers. Be mindful of your behavior and manners as well.
2.       Don’t attend the party on an empty stomach. If alcohol will be present at the party and you plan on drinking, put something in your stomach beforehand so you don’t become more intoxicated than you originally planned on becoming.
3.       Don’t be a couch potato and stay at home. Make an impression by showing your boss and co-workers that you’re willing and eager to spend time with them outside of the work routine. If you don’t want to stay the entire time, that’s fine, but stay for at least 30 minutes while the party is getting started. You may find yourself having a better time than you expected to have.
4.       Don’t worry about arriving on time. Once you clock out, go home and take your time getting ready for the party.
5.       Introduce yourself to any workers you may not know. If you work for a large company, chances are you don’t know the others in different departments or those who work on different floors. Make connections, as you never know what this may lead to for your future and your career.
6.       Keep the discussions about work to a minimum. Everyone came to have a great time, not to discuss work. Don’t ask about new positions available, when and if you can get a raise, and definitely don’t gossip about co-workers. This creates drama, which can ruin the mood and the party.
7.       Be mindful of your co-workers’ different religions. You may celebrate Christmas, but others you work with may celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Be respectful of this.
8.       Be aware of your drinking limit. If it helps, set a drink limit before arriving to the party. Ask a friend or close co-worker to help hold you accountable should you feel uneasy about your ability to maintain it. Again, you will be around your boss and co-workers. You certainly wouldn’t want to be the hot topic of the water cooler conversation the next day.
9.       Keep the dancing tasteful. If you’re seeing someone who works for the same company, don’t be too touchy, especially if the relationship is a secret. If you have a crush on a fellow co-worker, don’t use the party as a way to hit on them or make your move. Have fun, but remain professional.
10.   But don’t be a wallflower. Yes, we’ve stressed to remain professional at the office party – but don’t be dull and stand around looking bored. Relax, socialize.
11.   Don’t stay until everyone else has left. It’s best to cut off drinking an hour before you plan on leaving. If you’ve drank too much to drive, call a taxi. Know when to make your exit so you don’t become labeled as they company’s party animal.
12.   It’s okay to go home after the party. If your co-workers want to go to a different venue after the party is over, go, but only if you’ve had a good grip on your drinking limit. If you know your limit will be tested by going to other places, call a taxi and go home. That’s an even better idea if you have work bright and early the next morning.
13.   When leaving, make sure you say your goodbyes. If you dip out without telling anyone goodbye, they may assume you were having a horrible time and don’t care much for those your work with. Feel free to also approach those who planned the party, thanking them for their work and letting them know they did a great job.
14.   Be wary of posting party pictures on social media. There’s nothing wrong with posting pictures of you having a great time with your co-workers, but AGAIN, keep them professional. Don’t post any photos of co-workers who are drunk. Always ask for permission from those pictured if they would mind you posting them online.
15.   Show up to work the next day. You wouldn’t want to start your day with very little sleep and a quite the massive hangover. Let’s face it, calling in sick the day after an office party most likely isn’t going to be an accepted absence. Make sure you leave the party in time to get enough sleep and stay hydrated after drinking to prevent a hangover.