Christmas party etiquette

Thursday November 22, 2007

During the festive season, many people forget that the Christmas office party is more about office than party.

The idea is to eat, drink and be merry, but in moderation, as columnist Samantha Brett explains.

"It's that time of the year again, but it's worth remembering that the fun and frivolity of the office Christmas party can leave you with more than a hangover if you don't follow proper Chrissie party etiquette," says Ms Brett.

"One of the biggest rules it to dress appropriately," she says. "Inappropriate dress at an office party draws attention, but the wrong kind."

"Eat before you go," she suggests. "There's nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach.

"Get a buddy. Make sure they watch out for when you start to get messy, in case you start stripping, pole dancing or flirting excessively with the boss. That's their cue to step in and possibly send you home in a cab."

Party do's:

  • Mingle with everyone first. Don't head directly to the bar or buffet table as soon as you arrive.
  • Any clients you invite are your responsibility; make sure you introduce them to others. Keep your right hand free to shake hands.
  • Try to speak to every person in the room, if only to wish them happy holidays. Keep in mind that some people don't celebrate Christmas.
  • Make conversation with your boss' spouse. In fact, be friendly with everyone's significant other. They'll remember your kindness and courtesy and may prove influential in your future career.
  • Avoid talking shop with co-workers.
  • Watch your language. Avoid foul language, vulgar terms and inappropriate topics. Limit jokes to people you already know. Test a few on your friends beforehand.
  • The company office party may offer a chance to chat with the CEO or other senior managers you don't speak with often. Consider what you will say if the opportunity arises.
  • Mind your manners
  • Have fun and be a good sport. If the DJ holds a contest, participate and try to draw other people into the fun. You'll be seen as a natural leader.

Party don'ts:

  • The blow-off: The biggest error is not going to an office party that is a "must-attend" event. If you do that, you show disrespect for your company, your supervisors and your colleagues. That's a career-killer.
  • Forgetting the boss is watching: Senior managers pay attention to how people handle themselves at corporate events. They might not know your name, but they will remember your face.
  • T-shirts and sandals: Inappropriate dress at an office party draws attention, but the wrong kind. The goal is to display professional qualities, not show how funky or daring you are. Avoid clothing that's too tight or revealing; it's a party, but they're still your co-workers.
  • The business-talking bore: Some young professionals let ambition drive them. They don't know how to enjoy conversation unless it is about business. They become bores whom bosses avoid.
  • Me, me, me: Self-centred young professionals will have trouble working in teams with others and co-workers and bosses pick up on this.
  • Who's the boss?: It is amazing, but some young professionals do not introduce themselves to senior managers at a company party. They are afraid of what a boss might think or they don't realise the importance of a face-to-face meeting. They should not be surprised when bosses ignore them when it comes time for advancement.
  • About my pay: An employee who raises pay or other personal issues at a company party is marked as a person who does not understand what is and is not appropriate at social events. No employer wants that person in charge of others higher up on the corporate ladder.
  • Hanky-panky: No longer is an office party an excuse for employees to become intimate. Now it means sexual harassment charges and dismissal for one or both individuals.
  • Drinking to excess at a company party will kill a career instantly. Don't have more than two alcoholic beverages or better yet, don't drink at all.
Follow us on Facebook
Most Liked on Facebook
Our sites - most read articles
Top stories
Latest news headlines - Ninemsn NewsLatest news headlines and breaking news from Australia and the world. uuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=97762014-11-28T21:28:02Z;id=9777Firefighters contain major Sydney factory blaze<p>Fire crews have contained a massive factory fire in Sydney&rsquo;s north-west this morning.</p>2014-11-29T07:31:42+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02Zuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9778Queen sends message to Hughes family<p>The Queen has sent a private message of condolence to the family of Phillip Hughes following the cricketer's death in Sydney.</p>2014-11-29T07:16:28+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02Zuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9779Scientists trial 15-minute Ebola testA 15-minute blood test for Ebola which would increase the chances of survival from the virus is set to be trialled in Guinea.2014-11-29T04:11:13+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAFPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=97802014-11-28T21:28:02Zuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9781Why the Napthine Government will probably fall, courtesy of Tony Abbott's growing unpopularity<p>Nine&rsquo;s chief political correspondent has predicted a win for Labor in today&rsquo;s Victorian state election &ndash; laying the blame squarely on Prime Minister Tony Abbott.</p>2014-11-29T06:15:43+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02Zuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9782Two Australian tourists dead in NZ tanker crashTwo Australian tourists have died and another is critically injured after a van collided with a milk tanker near Reporoa in New Zealand.2014-11-29T06:05:03+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAAPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9783Convicted murderer returns to NZ prisonConvicted murderer and child molester Phillip Smith is back in prison in New Zealand after fleeing the country for Brazil.2014-11-29T05:55:58+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAAPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9784Victorian Liberal candidate's car hit by ambulance<p>The campaign for one Liberal candidate, contesting one of Victoria&rsquo;s most marginal seats, almost crashed to a halt yesterday after his car was reportedly hit by an ambulance.</p>2014-11-29T05:53:20+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02Zuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9785Crime scene set up after man's body found in Wollongong unitHomicide detectives are investigating how a man died after his body was found at a unit, south of Sydney.2014-11-29T04:28:57+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAAPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9786Pope Francis calls for end to extremism during interfaith visit to TurkeyPope Francis has called for interfaith dialogue to end Islamist extremism, at the start of a key visit to Turkey.2014-11-29T02:50:44+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAFPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9787Hughes family 'keen for First Test against India to go ahead'<p>Phillip Hughes's family is believed to want the first Test against India to go ahead.</p>2014-11-29T04:25:08+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02Zuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9788US police shoot dead gunman in TexasUS police have shot dead a man who allegedly opened fire on several buildings in Austin, including a courthouse and consulate building.2014-11-29T07:08:49+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9789Three arrested as Black Friday sales spark 'chaos' in UKAt least three people have been arrested as Black Friday promotions sparked chaos in stores across the UK.2014-11-29T02:16:22+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZPAAuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9790Cops ask for help to find Brisbane boy, 11, missing for three daysThe public has been asked to help locate an 11-year-old Brisbane boy who was last seen three days ago.2014-11-28T22:25:35+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAAPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9791Ferguson killer cop Darren Wilson to leave force: lawyerThe US police officer at the centre of a case in which an unarmed black teenager was shot dead will leave the force, his lawyer says.2014-11-29T00:22:32+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02ZAFPuuid:71f5df16-1072-4b0a-9d6b-e4d85f82427f;id=9792Medical negligence leaving Australians injured and disabled after botched operationsMedical negligence has been blamed as the reason an Australian man was left with disabled arms after a routine bowel surgery went horribly wrong.2014-11-28T19:00:00+11:002014-11-28T21:28:02Z
Search the site