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The Do's and Don’ts of the Office Christmas Party

On06/ 12 /18
It is a fixture in the work social calendar that can be viewed with anticipation and dread – the office Christmas party. 

Love it or loathe it, an annual Christmas gathering for all the co-workers can be a great way to start long-term friendships with your colleagues and strengthen the relationship with your boss. A company Christmas party is also an ideal occasion to re-energise the workforce, celebrate success and reflect on the past twelve month’s achievements before the start of a dynamic new year. 

Among all the benefits, however, there are some pitfalls that could harm your career and your reputation. Lots of booze, loose lips and festive excitement. The office Christmas party is a minefield of potential missteps that could even lead to an employment termination. In this article, we’ll reveal the holiday staff party etiquette to help you survive the festive season without increasing the odds of finding a P45 under your Christmas tree!


Dress appropriately 

Before you choose your Christmas party outfit, make sure you know the agenda and dress code. In many companies, traditional Christmas dinners are being omitted in favour of more fun, team-building activities such as trips to bowling alleys, escape rooms or go-karting, so wearing heels and a slinky black dress might turn out to be a little bit uncomfortable. 

Keep the conversation going

A great thing about the Christmas parties is the ability to get to know your co-workers outside your workplace. If you are new to the company, a Christmas party is an ideal time to discuss things that are totally unrelated to your work and profession. This can help to break the ice and open the door to establishing some long-term friendships. 

But as much as having a meaningful conversation over a drink or two can help with making friends, it can also dangerously go down the wrong tracks. Getting involved in office gossip can really hurt your both personal and professional image. To avoid this, try to steer clear of any work related subjects and use a list of safe conversation topics instead, such as shared experiences or your co-worker’s passions and hobbies. 


Show up if you don’t like parties

What can be worse than turning up your nose at an invitation for the Christmas party? Not enjoying it at all.

According to a study conducted by, only a quarter of respondents admit to enjoying Christmas parties, while as much as 19% reveal they absolutely ‘hate’ them. Moreover, four out of 10 were ambivalent about the events, while one in eight said they went only because they felt they had to.

Get Too Drunk

While getting hammered with your workmates is a whole lot of fun, you should be aware of the possible consequences before you order your next drink. And we don’t only mean ‘moral hangover’ - by having too much booze, you can put your employment in jeopardy because you are more likely to get involved in dodgy situations, such as a fight, that could cause some serious health and safety violations. 

You should also remember that conduct which takes place at a Christmas party, even if the celebration was held off-site, will be treated the same as if it was carried out at the workplace itself. This effectively means that your employer can be litigated for your actions taken under the influence of alcohol. 

So, is getting one more round of shots worth receiving a disciplinary note instead of a Christmas bonus? We highly doubt it. 

Talk too much about the job

Targets, the on-going projects and any other work-based conversations should be tentatively left at the door. Fighting for a promotion? That’s great, but make sure you discuss your chances with your boss at your annual appraisal meeting. Remember that Christmas parties are made as a break from all work-related things, so you can get to know your co-workers and build relationships outside the professional setting. 

Now, turn your work-mode off and enjoy the party!

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