Tie askew, ladders in stockings, smeared makeup… the Christmas party can be the best networking opportunity of the year, or it can be a messy, messy downfall. Here’s how to stay classy this Xmas.
1. Don’t drink to excess: It seems obvious, but it must be the most common (and damaging!) office party gaffe. Losing your inhibitions can have horrendous results. You don’t want to end up taking off your clothes and climbing a water tower, or using a naked blow up doll to spank its owner, or flirting with a co-worker who just isn’t that in to you (or worse, flirting with one who is and doing something you’ll regret).
2. Don’t dress inappropriately: It’s fine to wear your favourite party dress, as long as it covers the essentials. However, remember that this is still a work function and your outfit is expressive. Also, it’s a good idea to dress fancy, but not to fancy dress. You probably want to avoid the mistakes of respondents to a Creative Group survey who dressed as wrestlers, wore only boxer briefs, or red at a black and white affair.
3. Don’t bring children or uninvited guests: Not only does bringing uninvited guests mean that there’s less to go around for everyone who is supposed to be there, but it also distracts from your employer’s goal in organising the party: staff bonding. Bringing relatives, even if they are visiting at the time and you won’t see them until next Christmas, is a no-no (unless they are specifically uninvited).
4. Don’t talk about work: Don’t complain about the boss, don’t use the party to air grievances, don’t discuss work at all. Girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, and husbands (who don’t work with you) will thank you for it. Also, complaints about the company, or conflicts with co-workers, are probably best confronted and resolved at work, rather than allowing the festive atmosphere of the party to be ruined.
5. Don’t be greedy: Leave with what you came. While the promise of so many leftovers might be tempting for frugal employees, leave the Tupperwear at home. One respondent to the Creative Group survey reported catching an employee loading their car with food; another reported bringing their own doggie bags. Do you really want to be that person?