- Moderation. Yes, office parties are meant to be fun, but drink, sing, or dance in moderation. Remember that no matter how relaxed the atmosphere is, you’re still representing yourself to those in your company- the keyword is office party.
- Stand out. Office parties are good opportunities to introduce yourself to people you want to get to know better, especially if you’re new to the company. Making a good impression, i.e. being dressed appropriately, not drinking too much, and mingling with others can make you stand out from the crowd.
- Say thank you. Holiday parties can often take a lot of time to plan, so saying thank you to those who coordinated the night is the right thing to do.
- Appropriate gifts. As for grab bag gifts, keep the gifts appropriate. You don’t want to walk in with a Victoria’s Secret bag. Keep the gifts simple and classy; for example, gift cards for books, coffee, or music, or a nice planner and pen. If you know someone likes tea, you can get him/her a nice to-go mug and some tea samples. Keep the gifts thoughtful yet appropriate, and don’t go over the stated budget!
- Remember to be inclusive. Try to listen more than you talk and take a look around to see if someone is standing off to the side or looks uncomfortable. Including people in conversation always spreads good will long after the party is over.
- Keep the conversation positive. The holidays are a wonderful and fun time, so make the most of them and keep the conversation focused on positive things and not a list of what is going wrong at work.
- Don’t be the last person to leave unless you have organized the party.
It’s the holiday season and chances are you will be invited to attend an office party. Maybe it’s been a stressful year and some people will feel that the annual office gathering is the time to kick back, relax, and have a few drinks with their friends at work or a time to get to know that boss who never comes of his office better. Both of those assumptions are true but it’s so important to keep a few rules in mind. Here are a few tips on etiquette and for making sure you don’t end up being one of the stories told about a holiday party gone wrong ten years from now.
Management Expert, Executive Coach, Columnist, Strategic Networker