The do's and don'ts of the office Christmas party

Office party

The last thing you want to do is ruin a night that should be a reward for a job well done.

So, here are some handy tips to ensure there’s no chance of waking up the morning after with something that can’t be fixed with a bacon sandwich, a cup of tea and a couple of aspirin.

It seemed like a good idea at the time

There are any number of reasons why you might want to leave your phone on airplane mode.

For starters, posting embarrassing pictures of your colleagues on Instagram will seem like a great idea, but might not endear you to the people you have to sit next to on the following day.

Similarly, moaning about the party on Facebook will do little to endear you to your boss, especially if that person happens to be one of your friends…

Get a wingman

If you do approach the free bar with all the gusto of a child jumping into a ball pit, it’s worth having a colleague who will have your back, plans to take it easy and will make sure that a) you will do nothing you’ll regret b) you can get into a taxi.

Book a cab in advance

Because nobody wants to be making a phone call at 11pm on a Wednesday night in December in the hope of getting a ride home, only to be told ‘sorry, mate. We’ve got nothing until midnight.’

Check the time of the last train

Because nobody wants to be making a phone call at 1am on a Thursday morning in December in the hope of getting a ride home, only to be told ‘sorry, mate. We’ve got nothing until 2am.’ Or, worse still, you must get a night bus.

Don’t talk with your mouth full

It’s one of the best pieces of advice that you ever received from your mum. The party is sometimes viewed as the ideal chance to talk to people that you see every day, but you’ve never spoken to them. However, it is best not to try and break the ice while negotiating the buffet. Nobody wants to be asked ‘so what do you do?’ by a colleague chewing on a mouthful of mini burger.

Keep your shoes on

The most likely way to book your ride home (via the hospital) in an ambulance is to take your shoes off because ‘these heels are killing me!’ If you really need to go barefoot to do a spot of dancing, then at least find a spot where there is no broken glass or a rogue slice of chocolate cake to slip on.

Don’t make a promise you can’t keep

If you’re a line manager or director and you’ve got a colleague who is angling to talk about either a pay rise or promotion, then you should avoid this conversation at all costs.

In one instance an employee took his boss to court claiming he was promised a pay rise that never materialised, and the employee resigned on the grounds of ‘constructive dismissal’. In that instance, the court found in favour of the employer but not without a certain amount of emotional cost to all concerned.

And finally…

Don’t organise a team meeting at 9am on the following morning, unless you really dislike the people you work with.

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