It's that time of year, the dreaded office Christmas party is upon us. We've all heard shocking stories around bad behavior, mostly fuelled by alcohol, with the post party walk of shame on the Monday morning, where embarrassment is shared and humiliation is complete.
Don't let the festive season be something you regret. Here are 7 things you absolutely, positively must not do at your work Christmas party (or your partners work party), especially if you are the boss:
1. Don't start the party badly
At this time of year it doesn't take much of an excuse to start a party early but resist the urge to start your work party early. First impressions count, especially with your regular colleagues. Don't turn up drunk, late or dressed inappropriately (you might be really proud of your new piercing and have a strong desire to express your individuality, but the work party is not the place to launch it for the world to see).
2. Don't act like you have never been out before
The bottom line here is simple--if you wouldn't do it sober, don't do it at the Christmas party. Make sure you follow this rule of thumb and you won't go wrong. Don't drink everything in site, eat everything in site or be inappropriate in any way with anyone. Rest assured, people are watching and their opinion of you will be impacted, either in a good way or a bad way, based on your actions.
3. Don't talk business
There is nothing worse than a party where everyone stands around talking about work. Use the work party to find out more about the people you spend your days with, be interested in them and what they are doing, not what projects they did or didn't finish. Go prepared with a few topics of discussion if you feel awkward in these social scenes.
4. Don't tell anyone that you love them
The words "I love you" should never be uttered at an office Christmas party. The internet is littered with the remains of careers that have been destroyed by a Christmas party romance gone wrong, so don't become that clich.
5. Don't initiate drinking games
Sure, who doesn't like a good shot of tequila? But there is a time and a place. Don't be the person who starts calling for tequila shots to be drunk out of someone's belly button. Drinking games of any sort should never be initiated at the work party simply because they spell the beginning of the end when it comes to behaving in a sensible way.
6. Don't use the Christmas party to express your true feelings to your co-workers
Work parties are notorious for people deciding to tell others exactly how they feel. To say that this is dumb is the understatement of the year. The work party is not the place to tell the boss what a jerk you think they are. And if you are the boss, it is not the place to tell an employee the same. Keep those personal feelings to your self.
7. Don't go looking for the microphone
There is a strange connection between alcohol and microphones--the more people drink the more they want to use a microphone (the entire karaoke industry is built on it). Avoid, at all costs, the drunken speech. Everyone has a smart phone, and someone will gladly record your performance for all to see. Best to make speeches early, get them out of the way and then make the microphone a no go zone (in fact get rid of it all together). Leave the entertainment to the professionals.