December means one thing: it’s time for the office Christmas party. The Doodle meeting invitations have been filled out and the party date is in the company calendar – and if it’s not, don’t panic: a meeting request with a deadline should do the trick! Whether it’s locked in or still coming together, whether it’s drinks and dinner with the team or a company-wide blowout, make the most of your Christmas do – and avoid becoming a cautionary Christmas party tale – with these simple tips.
Don’t be a Grinch!
Even if you love parties, the office Christmas party can be an angst-inducing minefield. It may be tempting to avoid the tepid canapes and awkward small-talk with irritating co-workers altogether. But don’t skip it! You don’t need to join in the Christmas karaoke but attending sends the message that you care about your job.
Even if plus-ones are welcome at your Christmas event, consider flying solo for the night. The office party is a valuable opportunity to get in some face-time with colleagues you don’t usually see and you’re much more likely to mingle if you’re on your own.
Don’t Make it About Work
While you’re mingling, don’t forget that you’re off the clock, so steer clear of shop talk! Now’s not the time to complain about that one difficult client or take someone to task for never cleaning the communal coffee machine – and it’s certainly not the time to ask for a raise or promotion. Try and get to know your colleagues – you might have more in common than you thought! And, at the very least, befriending the IT team is one way to save money on laptop repairs…
Find a Job
If the thought of socialising with co-workers strikes fear into your introverted heart, why not nominate yourself for a job? Handing out canapes, organising Secret Santa, or manning the playlist gives you something to do and an in-built conversation starter (think: Yes, Susan, it is a shame Britney Spears doesn’t feature more heavily on this playlist). Win-win!
Keep it Platonic
Have a work crush? Now is not the time to make your feelings known. There’s nothing wrong with office romance, as long as it complies with your HR policy – in fact, 15% of couples in 2018 met at work. But don’t set out to charm the object of your affections after three glasses of free mulled wine: you might feel flirtatious but your behaviour could be interpreted as inappropriate or even aggressive.
Overindulging at the office party can have consequences beyond a raging hangover. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have a drink or two – it’s been a long year, after all. If that’s your plan, make sure you eat beforehand and drink plenty of water throughout the night. And if you spot a colleague looking worse for wear, discreetly suggest they might want to slow down or even call it a night – they’ll thank you in the morning!
And most important of all…
We think you’ve earned it!
By Jessica Miller
Jessica Miller is an Australian writer currently based in Berlin.