BBM Team

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Dos and Don’ts for an Office Party

The weekend’s around the corner, and chances are that you’re getting set for an office party. But are you ready?

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 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 while you may 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 at work.

Dress appropriately. This depends 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. It’s always wise to try to get a feel about what would and wouldn’t be appropriate. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution and don’t stray too far away from your usual office attire.

Leave out 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.

Be 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 not the place to indulge in jokes that are in bad taste and offensive ones. The last thing you want to do is to cause offence as that will almost certainly haunt you later.

The free bar. Often, the company will cover the cost of the drinks. Does that seem like a golden opportunity to drink yourself stupid? It’s important that you remember your limits. 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.

Mix and make merry. Some of us are 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 whom you otherwise might only pass in the corridor each day.

Forget 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. This is 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 whine, complain or gossip or to indulge in outrageous behaviour. Leave all your worries behind you, enjoy yourself within moderation and go easy on the alcohol.

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