It’s that time of year again – the time when co-workers come together to celebrate the holidays. Office parties present great opportunities to get to know your co-workers in a fun, relaxed environment. Whether it’s a casual midday outing, a happy hour, dinner, or a formal affair, we have some office holiday party advice. Keep reading for some universal “dos and don’ts” of work holiday parties.
Do attend (if you can)
Although you’re not required to attend, office holiday gatherings are a good way to get to know your co-workers better and celebrate the year’s hard work, which can create a more collaborative working culture year-round. Unless you have a conflict you can’t move, your colleagues may feel you lack team spirit if you skip out. Do your best to attend, even if you don’t want to. You will most likely have a better time than you anticipate, and your co-workers will appreciate it.
Don’t talk business
Even though it’s a work party, this isn’t the time to discuss business. No one wants to be reminded of deadlines and projects when trying to have fun. So, keep the conversation light and the work chat to a minimum.
Do network and talk with people you don’t usually connect with
Holiday parties present a great opportunity to rub elbows with people you don’t usually have the opportunity to connect with (like your boss’ boss, for example). Take advantage of that and socialize. Introduce yourself to people you’ve never met or have only spoken to via online meetings. This will allow you to make new connections and nurture existing relationships, thus expanding your network.
Don’t abuse any open bar privileges
It’s the end of the year and although it’s good to loosen up and have fun, know your limits. No party is worth risking your reputation (or job). Plan how many drinks you’d like to limit yourself to and remember to drink water and eat. No one wants to be the person other people are talking about come Monday morning (or even next year!)
Do be sensitive to other religious affiliations
Remember, it’s a holiday party and wrong to make assumptions regarding religious affiliations and what holidays people celebrate, if any. Which brings us to our next point…
Don’t discuss politics
This is rarely a good idea in any setting, but especially at a work gathering. Politics often translate into controversial issues and discussing them can quickly lead to heated, unproductive arguments. In extreme cases, political disagreements can lead to workplace harassment. Keep your personal politics to yourself. And if someone does engage you on a political topic, politely disengage from the conversation.
Do be mindful of who you choose for your +1
If your company allows you to bring a guest, great! This presents an opportunity to introduce your significant other to your co-workers. But remember, whomever you bring will be a reflection of you, so it’s best not to bring anyone you feel may not make a good impression (or prevent you from enjoying yourself and networking.)
Don’t misuse social media
Nowadays what happens at the work holiday party rarely stays at the work holiday party. It’s best to assume that nothing you do in a public setting is safe. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t respect one another’s privacy. When posting videos or photos online, be mindful and respectful and only share innocuous photos of others in attendance and be sure to ask for permission before you tag them.
Do have fun and enjoy yourself
Perhaps most importantly, have fun! It’s a party, after all! You and your co-workers have worked hard all year, and this is your company’s way of thanking you for a job well done! So, eat, drink, and be merry and take advantage of the opportunity to have fun with your co-workers.
Is your company hosting a holiday party this year? Tweet @JudgeGroup if you feel we left anything off the list.
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