Office Party Etiquette

Gina Luca has these top tips for surviving the party season. Whatever you do, don’t sit on your boss’s lap at the Christmas party…Eat

Some food in your stomach will avoid over-effects of any alcohol you drink. Eating is a sociable activity, you’ll also meet people you don’t ordinarily get to mix with at the buffet, or snack table.


Moderation is key! This is not the time to drink as much expensive alcohol as possible to make up for the hours you put in and don’t get paid for.

Be Merry

Turn up for your work Christmas party prepared to have a great time. There’s a fine balance between enjoying the social company of the people you work with, and letting your hair down uncontrollably. Be conscious of the fact that this is a work function. You still have to turn up for work so don’t do things to bring embarrassment upon yourself.

Business Image First, Party Image Second

Sure it’s Christmas, sure it’s the end of the year, but don’t let your guard down and consider this to be a big knees-up. Think of it more like the office ‘family’, relocated to a more festive location.


Circulate, mingle, and introduce yourself. What better opportunity is there to find, in the one room, everyone in the company, from the bottom to the top of the hierarchy? It never hurts to have a friendly conversation with the tea lady, or to shake the hand of the General Manager. Be on your best, friendly behaviour. Save your party girl style for another gig. This one’s all about making the right impression while enjoying the generosity of the company.

December 17, 2003

Office Party Etiquette (contd)

The Tag-Along

If it hasn’t been made clear if partners are invited, ask! How embarrassing to turn up at your work party with your spouse/partner in tow, to find that everyone else has come alone.Leave The Tinsel For The Tree

If your work environment is conservative, be mindful of that when you’re deciding what to wear to the office party. Try to dress in a similar ‘tone’ to what you do for work, but with a bit more of a relaxed style. Strutting your stuff might attract admiring glances from men (and scornful ones from women) but it won’t score you any points in the workplace when the party itself is a distant memory.

Avoid Gossip

What you see, hear and learn should always stay at the party! Don’t succumb to the gossip-merchants, as hearsay is always trouble. People commonly get up to mischief at parties, even work functions. Hear no evil, see no evil, and definitely speak no evil!

Your Boss Ain’t Santa!

Never take advantage of your boss’s jovial mood and the party atmosphere to corner him or her and ask for a promotion or a raise. Business talk is usually unwelcome when everyone is trying to relax. Introduce yourself for sure, but only to make yourself more ‘visible’ back at work.

– And one more thing – never EVER sit on Santa Boss’s lap!

By Gina Luca

* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.

December 11, 2003