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Office Christmas party etiquette

party etiquette

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Chances are we all know the feeling of waking up filled with dread about what may or may not have happened the night before. However, if the night before was the annual work’s Christmas party, then you can multiply that dread by about a thousand. It’s one thing to completely embarrass yourself in front of your friends, but putting your foot in it with a little too much honesty or dancing until your skirt falls down in front of your work colleagues  – or worse still your boss – is another matter entirely. And in my experience ‘who kissed who’ at the office party will be the topic of canteen conversation almost until the next party! So with the office party season in full swing, here are some tips on the correct Office Christmas party etiquette, and hopefully keeping your career in tact!

Curb the alcohol

The downfall of even the most quiet and reserved worker is alcohol, so although you may be in the mood to party, drink in moderation and save the excess for another night. Stay away from the punch! Loose lips sink ships as they say and who knows what you might say with a bit of Dutch courage under your belt – honesty is not always the best policy. You also wouldn’t want to be the sad sorry soul who falls asleep with their head on the table in the corner.

Don’t ditch the do altogether

With all that can go wrong, you may be tempted to give event a miss altogether, but that won’t do either. You equally don’t want to be seen as the one who doesn’t want to socialise with their work colleagues. People also remember the ones who left after 10 minutes.


The office party is actually a good opportunity for networking. Take some time to chat to people in other departments who you wouldn’t normally interact with on a day to day basis. It’s also a good opportunity for a bit of flattery – tell people how much you appreciate their efforts or the support they give you at work.

party etiquette

Zip it!

As tempting as it may be, avoid getting into gossip – you never know who’s standing behind you or within earshot.

Involve partners

  • If partners are invited, try to get yours involved in the conversation, introduce them around and keep the shop talk to a minimum.
  • Arm yourself with conversation topics.
  • If your work colleagues are not people you usually socialise with it might be worth thinking up some topics of conversation before hand to avoid those awkward silences. Avoid in-depth conversations about business and try to keep moving.

Check the dress code

Make sure you find out what the dress code is and remember to thank the organisers for the party. With a bit of luck, you’ll come out of the evening unscathed and maybe even with a few new friends or contacts to take into the New Year with you.



About Linda Ram

About Linda Ram

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