Company Party Etiquette to Keep in Mind This Holiday Season

party hat on plate during christmas party

The holiday season is here. There will be parties all around. Your company might even host one for the entire team, from the CEOs to rank and file employees and everyone in between. Food will be served. Booze will be aplenty. And there might even be prizes you could take home if you’re lucky enough to win in games or raffles.

You might lose your cool. You might get too happy you forget you are still in a professional setting. All the respect you’ve garnered throughout the year with your on-point corporate clothing and consistently professional demeanor might go kaput in a night of merrymaking that’s gone out of control. If worse comes to worst, you might lose your job.

To avoid those things from happening, here are our recommendations. And trust us, these won’t spoil the party for you.

Do not be overly chummy with the CEOs

Company parties are an avenue for everyone to mingle. No rule says CEOs can only talk with their fellow CEOs. In fact, the ideal is for these high-ranking managers to come down their ivory towers and get to know their team up close and personal.

That’s all well and good but remember there’s this thing called workplace envy. And you do not want to be its subject. Most especially if the only motivation you are envied is because you’re being effortlessly chummy with a CEO.

So stick with a few lines of conversation. Anything more than that might be construed as you trying to expedite a promotion.

Do not be overtly flirty with your officemates

Although office romance is not prohibited technically, it is often frowned upon. And the only thing more sneered at than office romance is office flirting. And if you do it at your next company party, and with as many willing participants as you can pull off, chances are you will be labeled as the office flirt.

That label won’t do you any good. At best, it will make your office mates uncomfortable in your presence. At worst, you might get slapped with a harassment complaint, especially if you are a manager.

Do not take home food unless you are told to do so

Sometimes there’s so much food that even after everyone’s stuffed their faces full the buffet table’s still brimming with leftover. You might get tempted to take some of the food home. Yes, it’s more unethical to waste perfectly edible food. But, at the very least, wait until a manager or the caterer asks you to do so.

Never be the first to go to or leave the dance floor

There’s this thing called dance floor politics. You do not want to be either the first or last on the dance floor. The first one on the dance floor probably doesn’t get many opportunities to party, hence the enthusiasm. The last one on the dance floor is probably partying for the first time. The safe spot’s in the middle.

christmas party

Drink responsibly

Sure, there’s an open bar. Sure, the bartender looks like a pro, one that could get you smashed with the least effort. But that’s not your goal. Get buzzed, maybe tipsy, but never smashed out of your wits. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Suppose your company’s throwing a virtual party, these tips still apply. The bottom line is you do not forget, even for a single moment, that your career’s on the line. So no matter how fun things get, do not drop a direct message to your CEO or the office mate you have been pining for where you make a drunken rant or confession. That is something you will regret the day after.

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