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Office Parties

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 1 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Office Parties Office Party Etiquette

Office parties are a great opportunity for you to let your hair down and to escape from the pressures associated with your job. They’re also an opportunity to perhaps, get to know some of your work colleagues a little more than you’re able to on a day-to-day basis. However, if not approached correctly, they can also be the downfall of many a person. Unlike a social event outside of the workplace, there will always be the underlying fact that you’re all work colleagues so, whilst it is important to forget about work, it’s important to behave appropriately as bad behaviour can come back to haunt and embarrass you later when you’re back in work.


Appropriate dress for an office party will be very different depending on a number of factors. The location and type of event, whether it’s fancy dress or themed, the time of day it’s held and the type of industry you work in will all have an effect on the way that people dress for the occasion. It can be a time to throw out all the stops and wear something exotic or glamorous but, there again, going too ‘over the top’ might not be looked favourably upon so it’s always wise to try to get a feel about what would and wouldn’t be appropriate dress for such an occasion. If you are in doubt, however, always err on the side of caution and don’t stray too far away from your usual office attire.

Leave Out the ‘Work Talk’

Unlike your day to day routine, an office party is the ideal opportunity to forget about ‘work talk’. It’s a chance to talk about other things away from the office and to have fun socialising just as you would with your everyday friends. Rank and status should really be left outside and you shouldn’t view it as an opportunity to ‘schmooze’ with your boss to see if you’re in line for a promotion or pay rise as they, too, will want to forget about the pressures of work, if only for a little while.

Stay Politically Correct

When it comes to sharing a laugh and a joke and letting your hair down, that’s all well and good. However, you also need to mind your Ps and Qs. Office parties are still not the place to indulge in bad taste jokes that could be offensive. The last thing you want to do at an office party is to cause offence as that will almost certainly come back to haunt you later.

The Free Bar

Often, the company will cover the cost of the drinks and whilst this might seem like a golden opportunity to drink yourself stupid, it’s important that you remember your limitations. Getting up on stage and doing a poor rendition of Elvis on the karaoke is perfectly fine but too much alcohol and you might end up saying or doing something that you’ll later regret so keep your drinking well under control.

Try To Socialise

Office parties come quite natural to some people and some of us are much better at mingling than others but, even if it’s something you find hard to do, try to be sociable and look to mix with various people throughout the event. It’s not as daunting as it might first appear and it can also be an opportunity to get to know people which you otherwise might only pass in the corridor in your office each day.

Forget About Romance

Whilst a friendly Christmas peck on the cheek underneath the mistletoe is perfectly acceptable, leave any notions of a romantic nature firmly behind. This is not the time to tell somebody you have the ‘hots’ for them and be very aware of the implications of any romantic advances you might have been planning. It’s simply not the place and could cause you a great deal of embarrassment later. Also, remember that sexual harassment is still an offence – office party or not.

Have fun!

An office party is all about having fun. Don’t see it as an opportunity to whinge, complain or gossip or to indulge in outrageous behaviour. Leave all of your worries behind you, enjoy yourself within moderation and go easy on the alcohol. If you remember these tips, your office party should be an occasion you can look back upon fondly.

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