Employer Insights

Christmas Party Pros & Cons for Employees: Read Before It’s Too Late!

Lisa JohnsonPosted by Lisa
min read

I love a good work Christmas party.  Free food, free wine and the chance to wear a new dress.  But, the reality is, we have to be careful letting our hair down at a work party.  Because even though there is free beer, company rules still apply.  Which means it’s a REALLY bad idea to get drunk and tell the boss how they should be running the company.

I know, because I did just that.  It was a number (cough, OK a lot) of years ago, and I had had a few champers before I even arrived at the party and then within 15 minutes of getting there, I was telling the MD where he was going wrong.  Needless to say, I got a message from him a week later suggesting that it would be best if I didn’t attend any more company events. 

But there are much worse things you can do whilst under the influence of free canapés and cheap bubbles.  So, please have a read and take heed!

  • Eat plenty of food before you arrive or during the event – it helps soften the blow of the alcohol and means you are likely to stay clear-headed
  • Water people!  Alternate your drinks with a glass of water.  It’s an old trick, but a good one. 
  • Alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions – which means you are at risk of telling people what you REALLY think of them or worse it might lead you to make a pass at someone.  So try to keep your wits about you
  • Don’t use the party as a chance to bitch and moan about everything that has annoyed you all year. And don’t be nasty or aggressive towards someone just because you really, really don’t like them.  Now is not the time to confront them – try avoiding anyone who you don’t like
  • Save the bawdy jokes and sexual innuendo for Christmas dinner with the folks.  If you offend someone with your lewd behaviour, you can risk accusations of sexual harassment – especially if you are told to stop and you just keep going
  • Remember this:  If you wouldn’t talk to your Grandmother like that, you shouldn’t talk to anyone in your office like that either
  • Please do not take your clothes off.  Just don’t.
  • Don’t bring and /or take anything illegal, because it’s illegal
  • Photocopying your bum is so 1996.  And no, it’s not retro cool to do it now.
  • Dress appropriately.  It’s a work do and you want to make a good impression.  Not look like a drug dealer or back up dancer for a rap video. 
  • Pace yourself, don’t be the one who goes too hard too fast and gets sent home in a taxi when the sun is still out.  Just so you know, I have done this and the boss STILL talks about the trivia event when I was put in a cab before the first question was asked..
  • Remember – big brother is always watching.  Whilst some companies might have a NO social media policy about their Christmas party, many don’t – which means you risk being plastered all over Facebook and Instagram for break dancing with your pants off.  This will haunt you for the rest of your career – so be smart and don’t be the pants free break dancer!
  • Remember your Boss is always watching – bad behaviour at a work function WILL affect your career.  Regardless of your intentions, if people are offended or disappointed by your behaviour, it is going to affect how they deal with you in the future.  People might forgive, but they never forget (..like the time I was put in a cab before the first question was asked!)
  • Enjoy yourself!  It’s a chance to be a little more relaxed with the people you see every day and a good Christmas party can be filled with much laughter, fun and bring work colleagues closer together at the end of a long year

Lastly, if you really don’t want to go to the work Christmas party, then simply let the organiser know you cannot attend.  Don’t say it’s because you would rather poke out your own eyes, just politely let them know you have prior commitments and won’t be able to make it this year.  Better this than feel obliged to go, and end up drinking too much, throwing prawns at the boss and letting that sour-faced old prune in the accounts team know what you REALLY think of him…

Cheers folks and here’s hoping you circumnavigate the Work Christmas Party with grace, decorum and a glass of cold bubbles!