There are a group of people that groan inwardly when they receive the email notifying them about the next office Christmas party. You know the people we mean – the people who forgot the rules and let themselves have a little too much “fun” at the last event. You’d probably be surprised by the number of Christmas party attendees who do something silly, and end up not returning to work in the New Year. So, to help avoid any mistakes, mishaps and “memorable moments”, we’ve put together some tips on how to actually enjoy your office Christmas function and remain employed in the New Year.
The function may be casual, but it’s not *that* casual.
One of the common ways people get into trouble at their office functions is assuming that everyone will be letting their hair down. Alcohol is usually a factor, especially at Christmas when people are relaxing into “holiday mode”. It seems an obvious concept, but employees who attend company-related functions should probably limit themselves to no more than two alcoholic drinks. No matter how relaxed everyone is, you are still representing the company. Dancing on tables, bad karaoke in restaurants, inappropriate affection and loud talking about co-workers (or worse, management), are considered career-limiting actions, and definitely, something to avoid. Many companies are actually forgoing traditional Christmas functions such as long, boozy dinners and lunches for these very reasons. They are turning more and more to activity-based events such as trivia nights, sports carnivals and organised group lessons to reward and motivate staff at Christmas.
Dress codes still matter
Most people recognise that they need to dress appropriately for a social occasion, however, this doesn’t always apply. There will always be people who turn up over-dressed when the invitation says casual or way under-dressed to a black tie event. If you’re really not sure what to wear to the office Christmas function, ask around and find out what others have in mind. Unless you’re really keen on standing out, or catching the boss’s eye (for all the wrong reasons), stick with the crowd.
Arrive on time, and leave on time
It’s unlikely that you turn up to work late on a regular basis. Turning up “fashionably late” to a work social function is going to be noticed, and probably not a good move if you’re at all interested in either keeping your job or being promoted any time soon. This goes equally for staying the function past its closing time. Don’t be tempted to get into that taxi with work colleagues at 1 in the morning to “kick on”. You’ll always regret this is the morning.
Have some input into the event
Finally, it’s true that people will be more engaged at a social gathering if they’ve had input into it – either deciding the type of event, the venue, the entertainment or even just the food. This means that they are less likely to be standing around looking miserable on the occasion. This naturally makes for a better function for everyone and is particularly important if the function is a team-based challenge or something with a competitive slant to it. Having a say on the type of Christmas function for your office may not be practical, especially if you work in a large company. However many company divisions or teams have their own parties and events at Christmas. It usually falls to one or two people within the organisation to plan such events, and they’re usually open to new ideas, especially if they sound fun, unusual (imagine learning circus skills or cooking as a group!) and are within budget. Do some research on activities you and your colleagues would really like to participate in, and make it a Sydney Christmas function to remember.