You’re Still at Work

It’s time to talk about the office holiday party. “Party” is really a misnomer. It’s still work - only with food, in a festive environment.

Thank your boss for a good year and for the party - in person at the party and in a hand written fold-over note after. Do the same for the party planner.

Get to know your colleagues that you have the least interaction with.

Don’t mix with the malcontents. Avoid office gossips or negative colleagues, congregating in the corner criticizing the event.

Watch your alcohol intake. “I drank too much,” is no defense. You will still be held accountable for whatever you said, broke or grabbed. Better yet, don’t drink at the office party and keep a clear head.

Don’t overeat. Look ravishing, not ravenous in a professional environment.

If the event is in an upscale venue, dress appropriately. Work events are not the place to show a lot of skin. Or dress childishly with cartoon ties and Santa hats. (Unless, you are Santa.)

Don’t linger longer than necessary. Especially if the party is in someone’s home, don’t be the last to leave - the one who has to be asked to leave.

When planning the office party, ditch the Secret Santa, White Elephant, Ugly Sweater Contest or the party at the paintball place. While these might be a laugh-riot for a few, the majority of your people just want a party with good food.

Good food doesn’t necessarily mean expensive food. It means good-tasting. Spend too much on food and your people might say, “Why can’t this go into my paycheck instead?” (Why it can’t go into your paycheck might have to do with different budget silos. Don’t bite the boss trying to do good with what’s available.)

Culture and Manners Institute