So we're well and truly into party season and if you haven't already partaken in your annual Christmas party at work then it's more than likely you'll have one coming up just around the corner. Over the years I've attended many a corporate office Christmas bash and whilst I confess I haven't always heeded the advice that I'm about to offer below, I know from personal experience some key things that it's very best to avoid doing. So take it from me, here are my top tips for making it though the Christmas season at work with your job (and reputation) still in tact!
5 THINGS TO AVOID AT THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY
1. Leave Work At Work And Switch Off For A Bit: Ok so it may be a works party but it's also a chance to socialise on a different level with your colleagues and not an opportunity to talk business, try to climb the corporate ladder or bore your co-workers with the intricate details of your latest spreadsheet. Keep it light, leave work behind for a few hours and interact like a human not an office robot!
2. Remember Where You Are And Stay Respectful: Having made the above point, it's equally important that you don't get carried away and that you maintain a professional stance with your colleagues. Don't offload too many intimate details about your personal life and certainly resist any urge you might have to talk badly of a fellow colleague, manager or the company for whom you work. Trash talk is never a good idea even if it seems so after one or two glasses of wine. The next day you'll be sober and you'll still have to work with these people.
3. Don't Get Too Drunk: Oh the temptation, the excitement, the enthusiasm. Don't get carried away on the alcohol front at the office Christmas party. The spirit may be high, perhaps you're a little nervous and want to calm yourself, or maybe you're trying to impress and think that the fifth round of shots won't hurt and will ingratiate you more with your team. SLOW DOWN! It might all seem like great fun now, but the following day, when you have to face everyone again at 8:30am and all you can picture is their faces when they saw you last, dancing on the tables, yelling wildly at the karaoke machine or whatever other great idea you had in the throes of your drunken stupor, you'll be glad that you put on those brakes and remained at least a little in tact amidst all of that festive over excitement.
4. Watch What You Put On Social Media: It might seem funny at the time to Instagram or Facebook a picture of yourself and your partner in crime drunkenly sitting in the office toilets, bottle of wine in hand, lipstick around your face and tinsel around your necks, adding some dodgy comment about your boss or something that seems hilariously insightful in that single moment. It won't be so funny the following morning trust me! So avoid the pain and stay away from social media for the sake of yourself and of those around you.
5. Avoid Arguments And Certainly Don't Fight! Tensions and competitiveness in the workplace can often become heightened in a social environment such as this, especially when fuelled by too much of the aforementioned alcohol. No matter how much you might be burning to have it out with someone who gets your back up in the workplace, this is neither the time, the place or the right way to go about sorting out any issues. Don't let your boss catch you rolling around the dance floor in a scrap with your colleague. It really won't do you any favours and in the long run it certainly won't make you feel any better either!
So there's some of my main advice for keeping it together during the festive season at work. There are many more things I could say but I think these five cover the most important points and should help you to keep a balanced approach to your party this holiday season. Letting your hair down and enjoying time with your workmates is great and important, but don't forget that when the morning comes you will still have to work with these people. Do relax and enjoy yourself but keep that professional distance if you want to be able to face the office the next day, when the sober reality of daylight dawns again!
Do you have any office party tips you'd like to share? Any funny stories or cringeworthy moments from which we can all learn? Let me know in the comments below and until next time, happy celebrating - but within good reason of course!