Office parties are a way to relax, let your hair down, and get to know your co-workers better, in a way that is different from the usual day-to-day interaction. However, it is important to remember that tomorrow is another day and things have a habit of returning to normal rather quickly, and certain people’s behavior becomes the subject of idle gossip. Let’s look at ways to enjoy the varied seasonal events without becoming the talk of tomorrow’s coffee breaks.
Remember that behind the festive celebrations is the reality that you are socializing with colleagues and co-workers under the gaze of various managers. Join the camaraderie and get in the holiday spirit, but know where to draw the line. Be aware of how fast others are drinking and control the pace accordingly. Perhaps alternate alcoholic beverages with sodas. Apart from anything else, drinking water keeps you hydrated and helps you avoid a hangover the next day.
The office party is the perfect place to impress. The barriers are down and there is an opportunity to talk to hard-to-reach people but avoid being desperate and sycophantic. Circulate and socialize, but keep it upbeat and general. Some people see the office party as an extension of work; They treat it as a way of relating and introducing themselves to different people in a relaxed and informal way. It can be a valuable way to make new connections if done subtly. Ask about the family, the kids, and the holidays, maybe their plans for the Christmas holidays. Avoid politics, money, and sex.
The proximity of office life is a breeding ground for gossip, but don’t spread rumors or confess sins. Complaints are broadcast and discussed, attractions are explored, and people’s true personalities are revealed. Beware of people who become unpleasant when they have had a drink. And remember that the invisible line that divides true friends and colleagues can blur after too much-mulled wine.
A little harmless flirting can grease the social wheels, but keep it light. Stay away from mistletoe and dirty dancing. Keep the innocent goodnight kisses and aim to wake up alone. If romance is in the cards, take it off-site and pick it up at another more suitable and discreet time.
Remember the basics of the drink. Avoid injections, eat well, alternate drinks with water. Have fun, but don’t be the victim everyone talks about the next day. If things start to feel dangerously confusing, finish the night.
Make sure in advance that you have arranged the means to get home, a fixed elevator or the phone number and money for a taxi, your mobile phone charged and at hand. Keep safe.
The day after the party still counts, so be at your desk on time and make sure your work isn’t affected. Crawling with a hangover and late, or worse, dragging a sick person, is unforgivably unprofessional. And if you’ve been a bit drunk or intrusive, remember, a lot of people were in the same state as you. Having a hangover makes one feel jaded, a bit depressed, and overly reflective. However, no one will likely remember the exact details of what was said or done, so there is no need to keep referring to it and reminding people. Shrug or laugh at it if possible, or if necessary, apologize immediately and move on. Make up your mind to be more responsible next time!