Navigating the work Christmas party like a pro

It’s that time of the year again… 

The work Christmas party is where you get to celebrate the end of a successful working year. It’s a time to be merry and joyful, but it can also turn into a chaotic mess. It’s often said that work Christmas parties end in regretful situations which can be detrimental to your career. 

Undoubtedly, this year has been challenging, and we’re sure many of you just want to let your hair down and wrap up the year that was. But… it’s important to remember, you are at a workplace function and there are some situations which should be avoided. Here are some common situations that occur at work Christmas parties and how to avoid them: 

Alcohol misuse (drinking too much!) 

High levels of alcohol consumption can lead to becoming heavily intoxicated and result in inappropriate behaviour or making bad decisions. Although work Christmas parties are a celebratory event, drinking too much is often the root cause of nearly all office party embarrassing moments. If you’re someone who enjoys a drink, set yourself a limit at the beginning of the party and stick to it. Alternatively, if you are someone who tends to drink too much at social events, try swapping out an alcoholic beverage for soft drink or water. 

Telling your boss just want you think of them.

The work Christmas party is not the time to tell your boss what you really think about them. If you wouldn’t say it on a normal day, the work Christmas party is not the place to say it.  Drinking too much alcohol can often bring up the tendency and courage to say things you wouldn’t normally say when not under the influence. If this is the case, limit any alcohol consumption or don’t drink at all. If you’re feeling particularly emotional or have interpersonal conflict in the workplace, and you feel you won’t be able to hold your tongue, don’t attend at all.  

Flirting or going home with a colleague or boss.

Flirting or going home with a colleague or boss should be avoided at all costs. This inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour at the work Christmas party, can tarnish your reputation in the workplace. Make sure to set boundaries and remember you are at a workplace function, so you need to remain professional.  

Drug use.

Taking drugs should be avoided at all times, however doing it at the work Christmas party is simply asking to be fired.   

Closing notes

Any work related events, including the work Christmas party has a duty of care to employees. In the lead up to the work Christmas party, its important to set expectations and remind staff of acceptable behaviour and company policies including drugs and alcohol in the workplace and bullying and harassment.  

The festive season can be a stressful time of the year, so keep an eye out for each other and reach out if you think someone is not coping. Someone’s antics at the work Christmas party might just be a sign that they aren’t coping.