Wednesday 12 December 2018 10:37 am

It's Christmas party season, so heed these words of wisdom to avoid embarrassment

While a Christmas get-together is a great way to thank and reward employees for their work over the year, it can also be a time of trepidation if you don’t know how to approach these festivities.

So, to make sure that everyone can relax, we’ve put together five essential rules for the work Christmas party.

Don’t forget, you’re still technically at work

Even though you’re dressed up in your finery and out of the physical workplace, you’re still technically within the work environment, so the same rules of your organisation will apply. It’s definitely not the place to discuss your job role, wages, or any grievances you may have. And just as importantly, don’t talk shop or complain about your colleagues.

This is a time to celebrate and socialise – not an opportunity to vent about your job or your coworkers.

Get to know colleagues

Being in a more relaxed and casual environment is a fantastic opportunity to network with your colleagues, some of whom may work in different locations, departments, or sectors.

These informal chats are a great way to encourage your colleagues to talk about themselves a bit more, while you listen and learn. If you’re still fairly new to an organisation, the Christmas party is a brilliant opportunity to build relationships with the people you’ll be working with every day – as well as a chance to get in your manager’s good books.

Respect your environment

If your party is on the office premises, make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Jousting with office chairs or using the foam extinguisher to make Santa beards may seem like fun, but someone has to clean that up, and it doesn’t make you look like the responsible adult that people see on a normal day.

Having said that, the same rule still applies if you’re celebrating outside the office. The firm’s paid for you to have a good time, but you don’t want to take advantage of its generosity.

Don’t call in sick

If the Christmas party is on a weeknight, don’t call in sick the next day, no matter how hungover you might be. Everyone will know exactly what’s wrong, so you won’t be fooling anyone. And even if you feel fine, you may still have a lot of alcohol in your system when 9am rolls around.

We’ve all hit that afternoon wall, so make sure that your day is prepared and you’re not having to go to any important client meetings when you’re feeling really awful.

Say thanks

Last but by no means least, always thank the organiser and your boss for hosting a good festive party – either at the party or after the event. Someone will have organised all the food, the drinks, the venue, and the festivities, so letting them know that they’ve made a great night for everyone will go a long way. These things don’t happen overnight, so being grateful is a must.

Whatever form your Christmas party takes – whether it’s in the office, at a restaurant, or a fun social event – it’s important that you do it right. Being aware of how you can get the most out of these socials while still having fun will get you in the best festive spirits.