Some stats to start us off. In a 2017 study from Randstad USA, 90 percent of employees said they would prefer a bonus or extra vacation days as opposed to a holiday party. Moreover, 62 percent of respondents said they felt obligated to attend their employer’s holiday party. According to OfficeTeam, 36% of professionals feel company holiday parties are fun. In a Forbes study, 14 percent of respondents admitted they know someone who has been fired from a job because of their behavior at a work event. All these statistics demonstrate that there are mixed feelings about holiday parties and perhaps even how to behave at one. Our thoughts: It’s a WORK event. Yes, it is party, but we need to keep the OFFICE in the office holiday party, and this means being cognizant of the fact that everyone is watching and you need to be mindful of what you say, wear and do. It’s just good “personal PR” for yourself. Here are some surefire tips on how to survive and thrive at the holiday party:
Dress for Success
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Dress for Success,’ which means to wear clothes in a professional style. For the holiday party, it is expected that you will “party clothes,” but it is important to maintain the same level of respectability that you would wear during a typical workday, which means watch the amount of skin you show; it’s a work event, not a club night. Just step it up a level in terms of what you normally wear. Men, a bright tie and women, some sparkles are acceptable.
Raise a Glass, but Don’t Raise Hell
If there are alcoholic beverages at the event, it is OK to have one, but you don’t want to be the person who is sloppy drunk and does something stupid. If you don’t know what refreshments will be served, have a snack beforehand to avoid drinking on any empty stomach. You don’t want to be grist for the gossip mill or find yourself unemployed because you were inappropriately drunk. Many companies are moving away from alcohol since they are legally liable for the actions of inebriated employees. Companies may also decide to try to control drinking with a cash bar or tickets.
Be My Guest
Should you bring a date//guest to the office party, if this is allowed? Never assume you can bring someone, including your spouse or spousal equivalent without asking first. The event may be intended as employees only. If you do bring a guest, remember that they are your responsibility. You do not want to bring anyone whom you know will behave poorly and will not reflect well on you. Prepare your guest for the event. Review with them who will be there and offer tips such as avoid talking politics with Lisa and Jim lost 100 pounds recently so compliment him on that. You know your guest and know if they will be comfortable left on their own or will want you to be by their side.
What once may have been seen as friendly, cute or “that’s just Joe being Joe,” may now be seen as sexual misconduct. Avoid flirting; at best, it can cause others to lose respect for you and at worst you could be seeing a sexual harassment charge. It is also important to avoid off-color jokes or language that may offend your listener, Remember, everyone is watching and listening. Remember to mind your manners, thank your hosts, and do not badmouth or talk about people behind their back. Do not use the party as a chance to monopolize the boss in conversation about your grand plans. Finally, we’ve all heard the expression “dance like no one is watching,” remember everyone is moving so this is not the time to engage in a dance off,
Have a wonderful time at your holiday party to kick off holiday festivities. Remember to act like you still want a job in the morning.