Tips for Surviving the Office Holiday Party

The holiday season has arrived and we all know what that means – the office holiday party. For many companies, holiday parties are great fun…but sometimes they’re a bit too much “fun.” Mistakes get made, people fly a little too close to the sun and, in a worst-case scenario, reputations can be ruined.

We all know that advertising and PR industry folks like to party, but wild and crazy behavior runs across industries and/or job categories. According to a recent study, more than half of people in HR departments said they’ve snuck a kiss under the mistletoe, while one third of bankers said they’ve gotten drunk and made fools of themselves at the company holiday party. And one in 10 people who work in travel admit they’ve been totally naked at an office Christmas party! Thankfully, this has not happened at any of the office parties I’ve been too.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) lavish holiday parties have mostly become a thing of the past. According to a report in Crain’s New York Business, the number of companies hosting holiday parties has reached an all-time low.

However, most companies still have a party of some sort. If your company has decided to host a holiday party, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t bypass the party. Doing so might send the wrong message to your employer.
  2. Enjoy yourself but stay professional. Remember that the annual office holiday party is still a business function. It is wrapped in a social context, but it’s still a business function so keep your cocktail drinking in check. You don’t want to be the person everyone is talking about Monday morning.
  3. If food is provided be sure and sample a few items. Select things you can eat neatly and stay away from salty or greasy foods that make you want to drink more. Tip: choosing foods high in starch and protein will help slow down the absorption of alcohol.
  4. Don’t bring a “Date Gone Wild.” Often times, the ruckus at company parties is caused by a guest of an employee. The problems sometimes stem from a guest not understanding the culture at a company. So it’s a good idea to have a chat with your date on what’s acceptable behavior before arriving to the party.
  5. Don’t complain about work. A party is a party, so leave the office at the office and just try and have some fun. But remember, not too much fun!

Follow these tips and I assure you, you won’t be the talk of the office come Monday morning. Happy Holidays!