Going to an office party provides opportunities for stress-busting fun and relaxation. Setting aside job-related duties and tight schedules, employees can enjoy the opportunity to become better acquainted.
But an office party is based on business protocol, so it’s a good idea to keep in mind that there is a thin but distinct line between celebrating with colleagues versus partying with personal acquaintances.
Keep in mind Office Party Etiquette the following tips:
Go easy on the alcohol
Whether there’s a cash bar or free drinks, don’t consume so much that you become tipsy or an exhibitionist. Alcohol consumption loosens the libido, which can lead to some pretty bizarre behavior or talk. You don’t want to be remembered as the file clerk who danced the flamenco on the conference table. Have one or two drinks at most, sipping them slowly. Eat something first so the alcohol doesn’t hit you hard. If for some reason you end up drinking more than you should, ask someone to drive you home or call a cab.
Don’t eat too much
First of all, you want to avoid giving the impression of being a glutton. People who socialize on a limited basis sometimes get a reputation for the brief glimpse of their behavior that is revealed at a social function like a party. If coworkers see you hovering over the buffet all evening, they may think that’s your typical style, even if it isn’t. (Maybe you’re just enjoying the special party treats.) Then, too, eating too much can make you sick–literally–and cause you to call off work. Eat a light meal or snack at home before visiting a richly-laden party table.
Don’t use party time to conduct business
While this sometimes is done discreetly or implicitly, never approach a client or supervisor directly with a view to discussing a deal or a promotion. Look and act your best to make a great impression, but maintain a social camaraderie rather than attempting to line up a series of professional linkages.
Don’t make romantic overtures
Even if you and a coworker have been eyeing each other clandestinely at the water cooler, this is not the time to come on strong. Your coworkers and supervisors will notice what’s going on, and some departments have a no-dating policy for employees. If you are going to date someone you work with, do it with discretion on an individual basis, not in front of 30 other people.
Don’t be a mooch
If employees are asked to bring a food dish or make a cash donation, don’t hold back on yours. Avoid asking to take home leftovers or scooping up unused party decorations afterward. If someone in charge of cleanup offers things like this to you, go ahead and take them. But don’t go around picking off available party favors, table centerpieces, or trays of cookies until you are invited to do so.
Office parties are a fun change of pace from the usual hectic atmosphere. Sign up to attend your next business function with a relaxed but controlled mindset!