How to survive the office Christmas party

Xmas Party

Tis the season to let your hair down, swivel the office chair around a few times and dance to some classic 90s hits at your office Christmas party. How do you make sure it’s a success for your career? Up to 50% of workers say that they regret going to the end of year celebrations

A recent survey showed that not everyone said they had negative feelings towards it, in fact, the office Christmas party was the highlight of the year for up to 43% of respondents in the 18-34 year old category. 25% of workers said they only looked forward to it if it was an all-expenses paid party, with 14% of workers having to pay for their own end of year celebrations. 15% of workers say they will be getting a Christmas bonus and nearly 60% planned on receiving a gift, however small, such as a mug or keyring.

If you’re about to have your office Christmas party, there are 7 main things you need to do to ensure that your night goes smoothly. Here’s your checklist.

  1. 1.Think ahead about what you want to achieve

Some people say they always skip the Christmas party as it’s too risky: they don’t want to end up in a compromising situation or in an embarrassing conversation. However, out-of-work-hours socialising can be one of your best opportunities to network. Identify at least 5 new people you’d like to get to know better and hit them up for a conversation in the first hour or two of the event before the karaoke tunes come out and important conversations will be forgotten.

  1. 2.Know who will be attending

From your direct colleagues, to upper management, sales staff and even contractors and out-of-office workers, know who will be there and plan in advance who to stick close to, and who to avoid. Office and workplace politics can transfer over to out-of-work events, so make sure you can dodge any awkward conversations easily.

  1. 3.Start with a sugary drink

Whether you’re planning on drinking alcohol or not (and let’s face it, most people will have a drink or two at their Christmas party!) start your night with a sugary drink such as lemonade or orange juice. The sugar gets into your bloodstream and the non-alcoholic liquid will hydrate you so that when you do have that first drink, you’re starting off right.

  1. 4.Make sure you eat enough

Most Australian companies would be cluey enough now to know they must provide both food and drinks at work events to ensure that staffers don’t get too inebriated too quickly. We all know that we’re supposed to alternate non-alcoholic drinks with alcoholic drinks but making sure you consume enough food is also important to your recovery the next day.

  1. 5.Safe passage is your employer’s responsibility

Believe it or not, it’s up to your boss to make sure you get home OK, to an extent. HR Inform says, “Organisations should ensure that at least one senior staff member does not consume alcohol and monitors employee consumption and behaviour at the event. Those responsible should also have sufficient taxi vouchers to ensure safe passage home… Many organisations include the cost of taxi vouchers in (their) Christmas function budget.”

  1. 6.Have fun

Let‘s not forget what the holiday season is all about – it’s time to let your hair down and enjoy life. Do not forget to have fun and try to appreciate the company of your teammates. Make an effort to reach out to someone new if you’ve been with the company for some time and make sure you act respectfully, and keep to the standards expected of you at work, particularly those rules around swearing, flirting and excessive alcohol consumption.

  1. 7.…and if something went wrong

Hopefully no one really noticed. Saying or doing something embarrassing is usually never that bad, unless the intent was malicious. If you really messed up, send an apology by email, raise it in person with the colleague affected or in a worse case scenario, speak to your managers or to HR/People and Culture, and get their expert advice. A quick apology and expression of regret usually goes a long way.