Thursday, December 10, 2009

Office Party Etiquette - Holiday Office Party Do's and Don'ts

Can't get enough of your coworkers during office hours? Don't despair! Company holiday party season is upon us. Follow these tips to make sure you adhere to the highest standard of office party etiquette:
  1. Do attend.
    Unless you've got a killer excuse (the old "kids have swine flu" always works), make sure you show up at the holiday party. The organizers of this bash (i.e. your bosses) can be a very touchy bunch. They may take your no-show personally and hold it against you. That's not how you want to start the New Year.
  2. Leave the date at home.
    If you're already nervous about attending a holiday party, you may be tempted to take a date or spouse to have someone to talk to. Forget it. Going alone frees you from the burden of worrying about whether your date is having fun, and it opens up the opportunity of browsing through important computer files while everyone else is drunk. Read more...
  3. Plan conversations ahead of time.
    Find out who will be there. Check the sports pages. If you're not good at making conversation, just ask a lot of questions. "So, how are the kids?" People would rather talk about themselves than hear about you, anyway.
  4. Don't talk too much shop.
    The Christmas party isn't the time to drone on about how hard you've been working on that market research project for the big client you just landed. Nor should you complain about the disappearance of coffee creamer from the break room fridge It's a party. Loosen up.
  5. Dress sensibly.
    This is not a night club, it's your office party. That means no peacocking. If it looks like you're about to hit a bachelorette party on the Jersey Shore, you need to change.
  6. Have a bite before you go.
    Sorry you didn't get that year-end bonus you wanted, but don't try and make up for it by eating $2,000 worth of cocktail shrimp. Have a snack before you hit the party.
  7. Don't over-indulge in drink.
    Nothing good will come if you drink too much. Nothing.
  8. Don't be amorous.
    Men: the Christmas party is no time to morph into Pepé Le Pew. Ladies: likewise. Keep your hands to yourself and your hugs and kisses to a minimum. And please, no dirty dancing. It's going to be tough to land a new job if you have to explain that post-party harassment suit.
  9. Be aware of cameras.
    Hello... Facebook calling. What happens at the office party stays on Facebook. Forever. Don't do anything you wouldn't want plastered on a roadside billboard.
  10. Arrange a ride beforehand.
    Don't wait until you're tipsy to figure out how to get home. If you plan to have a drink, make your travel arrangements before you leave the house.
  11. Don't forget to say thanks.
    No matter what you think of your boss or the party, say thank you. It's literally the least you can do.
Need more free tips and office party etiquette advice? Just keep checking back! And please add your own tips in the comments section below.
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