We’re now firmly in December which means one thing – it’s Christmas party time. How does this make you feel? Excited? Or full of dread? Christmas is a great time to get to know your colleagues better, but how can you strike a balance between having fun with the people you spend a lot of time with but making sure that you relax and have fun? We’ve got some great tips to make sure you keep your dignity – and your job.

  1. Drinking

This is an obvious one. Know what your limits are and stick to it. If you drink regularly, then that’s fine. But if you’re drunk on half a lager, it might be a safer option to drive and not drink at all, that way you’re not putting yourself (or your career) at risk.

 

Wine on the table at a Christmas dinner can be a killer! Helpful waiting staff can fill up your drink without you noticing, so if you’re not paying attention, you’ll find that the one glass you think you’ve had is more like six! Stick to what you normally drink and have some water as well.

2            Dress code

It’s difficult to get this one just right. Depending on what you normally wear on a night out, you might need to think a bit more carefully in case it’s too short, tight or revealing for a night with colleagues. A safe bet is a dressier version of what you usually wear to work. It’s fine to discuss what to wear with your colleagues – and if there is a fancy-dress option, make sure nobody is pulling your leg! Test your fancy dress outfit if that is the dress code to make sure you don’t have a wardrobe malfunction!

3            Social Media

Make sure that your team are comfortable with photos on social media, even if it’s on your own personal page or company’s social media page. Make sure you resist the temptation to do a Facebook Live on your company page! What you might think your company followers want to see from you at gone-midnight might differ when you watch it back on the way in to work the next day!

If conversation isn’t flowing, you might be tempted to get your phone out and do your messages or scroll through social media. It won’t reflect very well on you if you do that as you’re meant to be engaging with your colleagues. It won’t hurt to make small talk for just one evening. It’s what we all had to do 20+ years ago before we were all glued to our mobile phones.

4            Romance

We’ve done some research and statistics show that between 25-39% of workers have started a romance with a co-worker at the Christmas party.  Although you might have been waiting all year to flirt with the hot guy from IT, proceed with caution, especially if other people are in relationships. Nobody wants to be the cause of a pre-Christmas break up and risk your reputation in your workplace.

If you’re interested, our research h as shown that IT is the most likely sector to engage in some festive frivolities with colleagues and health and education professionals are the least likely. And surprisingly, more senior managers and directors have ‘misbehaved’ at the Christmas party compared to people in more junior roles.

We would love to hear stories about your Christmas parties! Where have you been? What advice can you give to others about keeping their jobs but still enjoying the Christmas party. Let us know!