The office holiday party- something that you either look forward to or dread all year long.
Some people may feel awkward engaging with team members beyond the office walls, while others view the party as an opportunity to celebrate the year’s accomplishments, mingle with team members, and have face-to-face time with higher up executives.
Movies like, Office Christmas Party, depict an over the top Christmas party that quickly becomes out of hand with highly intoxicated employees swinging from light fixtures and HR leaders left hiding in the bathroom stalls fearing the number of complaints to come early Monday morning.
Although everyone wants to have a good time, it’s important to remain professional. Here are a few tips for how to navigate this year's office holiday party:
Don’t dress like a Radio City Rockette
What you wear will depend on the location and your organization’s culture. The invitation may indicate a dress code, which can range from tacky sweater to black tie. If you think something might be too revealing, don’t wear it. When in doubt, ask your HR team or whoever is in charge of the party for some wardrobe guidance.
Lay off the eggnog
There’s a very good chance that there will be alcohol served. It’s okay to relax and have a drink or two, but know your limits. You don’t want to be that person stumbling around the room with a lampshade over your head that everyone talks about for the whole next year. Remember, you have to see many of these people on Monday.
Don’t be a Grinch
Be social. Engage with team members, meet their significant others, and learn about each other. Use this as an opportunity to speak with team members from other departments and build relationships within your own department. Treat everyone with respect, be polite, and make everyone you speak to feel welcome. Avoid standing in a corner texting or scrolling through ESPN score updates. No one likes a Grinch.
Don’t light each other up about politics
Yes, you should be social, but that doesn’t mean you need to discuss the latest news on the Trump impeachment hearing. Stick to safe subjects like sports teams, the weather, or recommend a great show you watched on Netflix. Know your audience and keep the political conversations for close friends.
& to all a good night
Planning a party requires a lot of thought and time, so whether you have an absolutely awesome time, or a completely miserable time, make sure you thank whoever hosted the party. This doesn’t mean you have to go over the top and come with gifts in hand, but a simple thank you when leaving the party is always appreciated.
While you should be careful to remain professional and act appropriately, it’s important to remember that this is a party and you should have fun. Participate in any party events, spark up lively conversation, and cheers your team members to a great year!