It’s that time of year: Work is winding down, annual projects and reports are coming to a close, and there is a more relaxed and casual atmosphere around the office as the holidays approach. With the holiday season comes the traditional office holiday gathering – that special time at the tail end of each year to mingle with you co-workers and colleagues to reflect, laud the achievements of the past year and … PAR-TAY! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!
No. Just no.
Work celebrations are great for boosting employee morale and fostering camaraderie and community in the office, but it’s always a good idea to go over a few common-sense tips to avoid finding yourself in front of HR come Monday.
Moderation is Key with Alcohol
You cannot put too fine a point on this one: If your office party involves alcohol, use your head – and, no, not to put a lampshade on. Go ahead, Google “office holiday party disasters” and just see how many of the stories include some variation of “one of my co-workers ended up drinking too much and … (insert phenomenally embarrassing, inappropriate or compromising indiscretion here).” Is this tip a tired old trope? Yes, but there’s a reason that we put it first: People keep ignoring it!
And Another Thing …
Often this directly ties into the above point, but it can stand on its own, too. The office party is not the venue to get something off your chest. It’s a celebration, not a courtroom. The party is not the time to put someone on trial for a perceived slight or the opportunity to tell that supervisor or co-worker what’s really on your mind. Don’t do it. This isn’t Festivus and it’s not the time for any Airing of Grievances.
Check Work at the Door
Just because this is a holiday party with co-workers doesn’t mean people want to hear you yammer on about work-related topics. Your co-workers want to relax, have fun, get to know each other and forget about the job for a few hours. Take your nose off the grindstone.
Don’t Post Negative Images/Comments About the Party
We live in a world today where some people feel the need to use social media to document every fleeting thought that comes into their heads. No, we don’t get it either, but you know it’s true. However, writing about how the office party was “lame” or posting an unflattering photo of a co-worker isn’t going to do you any favors. The odds of it coming back to bite you in the behind are pretty high. Is that really worth the three laughing-face emojis you get?
That’s it! Common sense, just like we said. You don’t have to start 2019 by returning to work and enduring a Walk of Shame to your desk.