We are now in full swing of the Christmas party season. Who can forget the Christmas party scenes from Bridget Jones’s Diary; Bridget’s off key karaoke sessions, Daniel Cleaver harassing his female colleagues, Mark Darcy’s infamous reindeer jumper and of course Bridget’s mother serving mini-gherkins. I think we have all witnessed similar occurrences at Christmas parties over the years.
In the knowledge that the countdown to your Christmas party has probably begun, here are my top 5 tips on how best to survive the office Christmas party this year.
1. Never forget that whilst you are attending a party, it is a work related party and actions have consequences. Your behaviour is governed by a disciplinary procedure which, if violated, can threaten not only your job but also your personal record. If you want to go far, try to avoid the bar.
2. Open bar? Remember, everything in moderation. It is nice to have an eggnog or glass of mulled wine during the festive season but try not to drink excessively. When we drink we lose our inhibitions and pose the risk of acting inappropriately. Can you imagine the embarrassment of knowing that you rocked the room with an off key karaoke version of ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ dedicated to your boss. Cringe!
3. In the words of Aretha Franklin have a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for your colleagues by keeping your thoughts to yourself during the party. Now is not the time to express anger, harsh opinions, malicious gossip or confront your less than favourite co-worker. Instead, count to ten and bite your tongue.
4. Refrain from doing a Daniel Cleaver. Don’t harass the object of your desire at the office party unless you know the feeling to be mutual. Harassment is a serious offence which results in disciplinary action; don’t risk losing your job or your dignity.
5. Finally, remember to enjoy yourself. Tis’ the season to be jolly, after all. None of these guidelines are designed to oppress your evening, they are designed to make it even better. Put on your novelty Christmas jumper, dance awkwardly to Band Aid, make new friends, remember to laugh and don’t forget to bring your camera, create memories that will last a lifetime.
On a more serious note, if you are an employer reading these guidelines and perhaps fear that some of the actions mentioned in the post pose an actual risk at this year’s Christmas party, ensure you have some official guidelines in place.
Thanks to Natalie Cook for her input on today’s HR blog post.