Established in 1769, Debrett’s has long been recognised as the authority on British etiquette and its publications cover everything from letter writing and body language to romance and rites of passage.
“Although festive celebrations can seem intimidating, the office party is the perfect place to impress,” Jo Bryant, etiquette advisor for Debrett’s, said. “There is the opportunity to talk to those hard-to-reach people, as well as socialise with colleagues outside of the confines of the office. Join in the camaraderie and indulge in the Christmas spirit, but know when to draw the line. It is important to maintain your professional gloss at all times.”
Take note: these are Debrett’s top dos and don’ts for the office Christmas party:
1. Do make an effort to look smart and well groomed, and ensure you adhere to the dress codes, if specified.
2. Do circulate and socialise, but keep it upbeat and general. Ask about families, children and holidays.
3. Do make the most of the opportunity to network with your colleagues and clients. Use small talk as a pleasurable way of making contact and cementing relationships.
4. Do ensure that you’re democratic in your mixing: this isn’t the place to schmooze your bosses and ignore your team.
5. Do your best to keep it upbeat and convivial – this isn’t the time of year to skulk moodily in corners and leave early…
6. Don’t gossip, spread rumours or confess your sins.
7. Don’t let bonhomie turn into sleaze and keep goodnight kisses innocent.
8. Don’t hit the bar with a vengeance and remember to eat well and alternate drinks with water. Have a few glasses, but don’t be the casualty everyone is talking about (and sniggering at) the next day.
9. Don’t outstay your welcome. If you feel the drink is taking its toll, heed the warning signs and hail a taxi before any late-night lasciviousness or boisterousness comes back to haunt you.
10. Don’t crawl in hung over and late (or worse, pulling a sickie) the following day. It’s unforgivably unprofessional.