The company holiday party is a time to let loose, have a little fun and celebrate the spirit of the season
with your colleagues. But it's also a minefield of potential disaster; one false move, and your workplace
reputation could be ruined. With the advent of social media, the chances of your exploits going viral raises
the stakes even higher.
Here are top tips for balancing fun and good cheer with professionalism and decorum.
PowerPoint PresentationOverview The company holiday party is a time to let loose, have a little fun and celebrate the spirit of the season with your colleagues. But it's also a minefield of potential disaster; one false move, and your workplace reputation could be ruined. With the advent of social media, the chances of your exploits going viral raises the stakes even higher. Here are top tips for balancing fun and good cheer with professionalism and decorum. Do show up -- or, at the very least, RSVP Be sure to respond to an invitation with 48 hours, regardless of whether it comes via evite, email, telephone or traditional methods.As much as you may not wish to attend, you must. Attendance is practically mandatory -- failing to go to the annual holiday party sends a negative message. If you absolutely can't go, you should at least RSVP with your regrets as early as possible. And if you say you're going to go, you have to follow through. Don't bring an extra guest Be sure to read the invitation carefully so you know the company policy on guests.You should discreetly check ahead of time to determine if the event is employees only or if spouses, dates or another Plus One is appropriate. Don't Drink Too Much you can handle it—is OK. Although you may know a third drink won't be a problem for you, keep in mind that perception is everything. You want to avoid looking like you are drinking too much. Don't Treat the Office Party Like a Singles Bar than what their jobs are. An office party gives you a chance to become acquainted with them on a whole other level. Getting to see them in a different environment may make you look at them differently, and Jim (or Jane) from accounting may suddenly look a lot more appealing under bar lights than cubicle lights. Ignore your animal instincts. Workplace romances—or worse, one night stands—can be disastrous. Don't Flirt or Act in a Sexually Provocative Manner it's entirely innocent. The message it sends to your colleagues isn't. Flirting or acting in a sexually provocative manner can, at best, make colleagues lose respect for you on a professional level. At worst it can end with a claim of sexual harassment against you. Party clothes are perfectly acceptable—and probably even expected—for the office party. So go ahead and toss aside your usual work attire and wear something festive. Sparkles, bright colors, and sequins are appropriate, but it is crucial that you maintain the same respectability as for a typical day at work. Don't show too much skin or wear anything see- through or form-fitting. Keep Your Guard Up It is okay to relax and have fun. It's a party after all. But don't lose sight of the fact that you are still at work, even if the setting is different than the one you are in daily. Don't show a side of yourself that could be embarrassing or cause their opinion of you to change for the worse. For example, don't share too much personal information if you wouldn't want it to be known in a professional setting. Don't Tell Off-Color Jokes Office parties are usually light-hearted events. Feel free to tell jokes, as long as you are sure they won't offend your coworkers or boss (or worse, his or her boss). Many people do not enjoy off-color jokes, so refrain from telling any. On a related note, you should also be wary of using foul language. Parties are a good time for distributing office gifts office holiday party is a good time to give holiday gifts to employees. Just remember: If you want to recognize a specific employee with a special gift, be discreet. The same applies for gifts exchanged between coworkers. This will avoid jealousy issues with workers who may feel short changed. Put Your Phone Away and give them time to socialize with each other. How can you take advantage of this opportunity if you are constantly checking your phone? Put it away and try to focus on the here and now. If you must check your phone occasionally, slip away to do so. Of course, keep your phone handy for taking pictures! Share them on social media later. Don't Talk About People Behind Their Backs Whether on the job or at a work-related event, it is in poor taste to gossip. You may run out of things to discuss with your colleagues so you decide to fill the silence by talking about those people who couldn't attend the festivities. If the fact that it's just not a nice thing to do doesn't deter you, think about how you will feel if word gets back to him or her. Do greet hosts, colleagues and party planners When you arrive at the party, be sure to greet, thank and shake hands with your hosts and the party planners. If you're working for a company or partnership owned by more than one individual, be sure to thank all of them. Chat briefly and compliment an aspect of the party that you sincerely enjoyed such as the catering, music, or décor. Limit this to five minutes and then move on. Everyone watches the entrance to a room, so when you arrive, do not head straight for the bar or buffet, says Schweitzer. Enter, pause, step to the right, greet and shake hands with the person who's standing there. Executives do enjoy speaking with employees, and your company party may be one of the few times you see them in person. Introduce yourself, state the department you work in and shake hands. This is a good time to become visible to your organization's leadership. Greet your superiors, and chat with as many colleagues as you can, introducing yourself to those that you do not know well. Greet co-workers warmly, and with a smile on your face Say thank you When your office party offers food, drink, music and the chance to let loose from the office for a while, it's important to show your gratitude to the party planners, organizers and your boss.This doesn't have to be elaborate; a quick "thank you" before you leave is all that's necessary. Show up the next day Nothing looks worse than calling in "sick" the day after the office party, even if you overindulged and/or stayed out too late afterward. If you've followed these tips, you shouldn't have this problem, but in the event you do, well, there's nothing to do but suck it up and head to the office. Get some face time with the boss Chances are your boss will be in a good mood at the holiday party, and he’s probably hoping he’ll get a chance to talk to you a little bit without the pressure of work and your respective roles interfering with the conversation. Now is the time to discover if you have a favorite sports team or book in common. Don’t think of it as a chance for Machiavellian maneuvering, but rather as an opportunity to get to know your boss better as a person. Don’t be the first to arrive or the last to leave party is for. An office party should be about mingling, not brainstorming. This is not the place to begin sharing your thoughts on next year’s marketing budget or what vendor you want to use for a software update. If you do talk business, pay attention to people’s subtle cues to see if they’re looking to make a graceful exit from too much shop talk. when deciding who to ask. Avoid bringing someone who might exhibit inappropriate behavior—even if he or she is your significant other. Your plus-one's bad behavior will reflect poorly on you. If you deem it necessary, remind your guest to follow the same rules to which you are expected to adhere. When celebrated in an appropriate, respectful way, your annual holiday party tradition can create a sense of camaraderie, develop stronger office relationships, show employee appreciation and can be collectively great for morale, says Lavelle. Armed with these tips, you're sure to have a great time and make a wonderful impression.
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When celebrated in an appropriate, respectful way, your annual holiday party tradition can create a sense
of camaraderie, develop stronger office relationships, show employee appreciation and can be collectively
great for morale, says Lavelle. Armed with these tips, you're sure to have a great time and make a