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Office Holiday Party Do's and Don'ts

December 1, 2015
Office party season is now in full swing. But don’t be fooled by all that festive feeling: whether it’s a small in-office party or a glittering all-out affair at a big venue, the annual holiday office party is a behavioural minefield! Use our top 10 do’s and don’ts list to navigate your office party with your reputation intact.
  1. Do remember that this is a work event and act accordingly. Yes, it’s a party and your bosses do want you to have fun. Just not stripping down and dancing on the bar in your undies kind of fun. And don’t think this is a case of what happens at the office party stays at the office party. It really doesn’t.
  2. Don’t act too cool for school and refuse to go to your office shindig. Do make the effort and show your (smiling) face - for at least 45 minutes to an hour. 
  3. Do leave before the clean-up crew needs to sweep you out with the empties. Don’t be that partygoer - the one who outstays their welcome.
  4. Don’t drink too much. An obvious one, but probably the most forgotten rule of the office party. Do show some restraint and keep it to just a couple of drinks.
  5. Do organise a designated driver or call a cab. (Tip: many companies will offer car or cab service for employees attending the party. Ask HR in advance.) Whatever you do, don’t drink and drive.
  6. Don’t bring out the skin tight leather pants or navel-gazing low-cut top. This is not the occasion. Do dress like a grown-up. If it’s not stipulated in the invitation, ask someone if the party is formal or casual - either way, keep your attire respectful. (If you wouldn’t show up to your granny’s door in the outfit you shouldn’t show up to the office party in it!) 
  7. Do keep your hands to yourself and refrain from getting overly affectionate with your office crush. And remember, even innocent flirting can be misconstrued! We understand how everybody suddenly looks rather lovely under cover of twinkling lights and mistletoe but don’t treat this event as the live version of Tinder.
  8. Don’t bring uninvited guests - do find out if you’re allowed to bring a partner first.
  9. Do take this opportunity to network with people who can influence your career. The office party is a great event to work on your business relationships, so don’t be shy to introduce yourself to top management. But absolutely don’t spend the whole evening talking about yourself and/or business. And no gossiping. About anyone. Ever.
  10. Don’t forget to thank the person/people responsible for pulling the party together. Do send a thank you note to management as well.

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