Yule be sorry! Tips to avoid a Christmas office party disaster

Gabriele Ottino
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Organise a good party and you'll be as popular as Santa himself (Source: Getty)

Have you been bestowed with the honour of arranging the office Christmas party this year?

Lucky you. Organised well, your success will elevate you to office hero. Done badly, you may return in the new year to a desk relocation, perhaps next to the toilet, or microwave.

To avoid giving your office a party to remember for all the wrong reasons, follow these simple tips for a triumphal festive function:

Get a date in the diary now

Whether you’ve been formulating grand plans for months, or are finding the idea of approaching the task at hand incredibly daunting, you need to start now.

London’s best eateries are filling up fast – many will already be full. What you thought to be a little-known gem won’t seem so undiscovered if you leave it too late.

Using an app like Doodle to work your way around colleagues’ already tight Christmas schedules will help you get that all-important date in the diary. But a word of warning – the later you leave it the more likely you’ll end up with a mid-week party, which could mean holiday hangovers the next day, and a productivity nosedive. Once you’ve worked out the best date for everyone, you can then start worrying about finding a venue with space on that day.

Location, location

With the “when” sorted, it’s time to move onto the “where.” No one wants to spend their Christmas party in the their cubicle – they’ve just spent all year there and want to throw off the shackles of work. Be imaginative and take it out of the office. The possibilities in London are endless.

Pick a venue that meets all of your party needs, from the distance you want to travel, to how much money you have to spend. The size of your budget will ultimately have an impact on the type of Christmas party you organise. There are ways of keeping costs down, while ensuring everyone is having fun.

Get your colleagues to form a drunken conga line to travel from the restaurant to the bar or club – it will save you a considerable amount of money in travel, which you can then put behind the bar. Any move that ends up with more booze cannot fail to prove popular.

Line their stomachs

Lining your colleagues’ stomachs with a carb heavy meal is key for the health and longevity of your night, so food should be somewhere in the mix – make the meal the main event.

If you’re organising a sit down meal, take the time to create a seating plan. This will make sure conversation flows all evening, and can even get colleagues who don’t usually spend much time together chatting. And if you’re a smaller office, requesting a round table is a fantastic way to ensure everyone gets stuck in, and no one is left out in the cold.

If a seated affair isn’t for you, however, then perhaps a buffet will suffice. It means people can eat as much as they want, whenever they’re ready and you can make sure there is something on offer for everyone, no matter their dietary requirements.

Keep it fun

Once organised, it’s time to have fun! And why not, you’ve just achieved the impossible. But remember that this is your office Christmas party so there are still a few boundaries: a free bar is not a competition, nudity is never necessary and never be the last to leave.

The morning after

It’s a simple measure, but laying out the perfect office outfit before heading off to the Christmas party will ensure you look like you can handle your drink when you walk into work the morning after. Arming yourself with food for the office can’t hurt either.

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