Top 5 Do’s and Dont’s for that Office Holiday Party

We’ve all been there, the office holiday party—boring, long, awkward, and attendance is usually required. Research backs up this sentiment, only 36 percent of employees describe their work holiday parties as fun, according to a recent survey from OfficeTeam. Which means two-thirds of us dread the end-of-year get together.

However, all office functions are a chance to interact with peers and management, as well as put your best foot forward. Keep these five dos and dont’s in mind when you attend your annual office holiday party this year.

Don’t Forget to Read the Invitation

Some people breeze past the e-vite, but the devil’s in the details. Make sure to know all the party info. You don’t want to show up late, or mix-up the location. Most importantly, you should know what to bring, for example; a dish for a potluck, a wrapped gift for a white elephant exchange, or a plus one/guest. A few days before the party, re-read the info, so you’re ready and prepared.

Do Embrace the Ugly Christmas Sweater

The ugly Christmas sweater trend is not going anywhere, anytime soon. Most of us have one, 92 percent of holidays shoppers have reported spending anywhere from $20-50 on an ugly Christmas sweater.

If your office has an ugly sweater-themed party, don’t be a grinch and make sure to participate! There are so many options available these days; you’re sure to find something to fit your style. Silly sweaters can also be a way to show that you have a sense of humor, but a word to the wise—keep it PC, nothing too inappropriate.

Don’t Drink Too Much

Yes, the drinks might be complimentary, but there are plenty of other opportunities to cut loose and have festive cocktails during the holiday season. Even if you work for a laid-back company or are friendly with your co-workers, getting drunk in front of your boss is never a good look.

Companies have even stopped including alcohol to curve potential inappropriate behavior. Less than half of companies, 48.7 percent, served alcohol at their parties this past year, down from the 61.9 percent that did in 2016, according to a recent survey. 

Play it safe, stick to one or two drinks to be social, but don’t go beyond that.

Do Get Involved

While games or forced networking can be awkward at first, don’t act too cool for school. Exemplify the team player that you are, and take part in the fun. If there are activities planned, make sure to participate.

Even if it’s just a mingling event, try to chat with co-workers you do not regularly interact with, get to know them. If you’re the first person to break the ice, you might even make another co-worker feel more comfortable. A gracious and friendly guest also proves that you take the initiative socially, a born leadership quality. Not too mention, it’s better than sitting alone or looking at your phone.

Don’t Forget People (and Their Phones) are Watching

Even though it’s a party, still remember to act generally professionally. Office gatherings aren’t a time to blow off steam about work, gossip, or flirt. You don’t want to be seen in an unflattering situation by peers or superiors. Especially in the age of social media, HR or party coordinators are often taking pictures for company updates or newsletters. You do not want to be memorialized in an unflattering situation.

Be Grateful and Enjoy Your Office Holiday  Party

Even if only one and three employees enjoy work holiday parties, put on a happy face and try to be one of them. No matter how boring, lame or silly the celebration might be, remember that someone put time and effort into planning the party. So thank the host, party coordinator, boss, or HR team for their efforts. Remember that your attitude and actions at company events reflect on you as an employee and individual.