The weather’s turned cold, the lights and decorations are up, and nutmeg and cinnamon fill the air. That can only mean one thing: the office Christmas party is coming.
A whole year of hard work, character-building and an unblemished reputation in the office can be destroyed by one false move, a wrong word or just a single rude tweet.
RICS Recruit has some handy hints and tips to ensure you survive the night unscathed – but still have a good time!
Even if spending an entire evening with your colleagues fills you with dread, it’s a good idea to make an appearance. Turning up will show your commitment to the team, and can be great for company morale.
Don’t be a wallflower
The office party is a great opportunity to meet colleagues you may not otherwise encounter. It’s always good to learn more about the company as a whole, and internal networking can be handy when the next opportunity for promotion arises. Just be careful what you say in front of the higher-ups!
Know your limits
The number one rule! There’s no point in being the life and soul of the party at 4pm then spending the rest of the evening locked in the toilet.
If the drinks are flowing, remember it’s not a race. Try to stick to the same drink throughout the evening, and don’t forget to take on water between rounds.
Don’t talk about work
This is a party – so leave the work at your desk and have fun. Your colleagues will want to relax, and talking about work is the exact opposite. Try to use this time to learn more about what people are like outside the office.
Dress for the occasion
Even though it's a party, you're still with work colleagues, so make sure you dress appropriately and professionally. Don't wear something outlandish – unless there’s a theme.
Find out what the basic itinerary of the night is, and try to coordinate your outfit accordingly. Layers are always a good idea, since it’s likely to be a cold night.
Festive celebrations are infamous for naughty behaviour: a 2011 survey found that one in four people will kiss a colleague at the work Christmas party.
The problem is that there will always be someone on hand to remind you in the morning or – worse – who has snapped photos on their phone in case you forgot. The chances of your kiss going unnoticed are very slim, so mind the mistletoe!
Once the bar shuts and the drink stops flowing, be sure to get home safely. A good idea would be to book a taxi in advance, or make sure you know when the last train home departs. If possible, a hotel booking could be a good idea, or even crashing on the sofa of a colleague.