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I always had mixed feelings about office holiday parties. They can be lots of fun and a chance to for people to “let their hair down.” However after one or two drinks, it may be difficult for some people to put the genie back in the bottle.
Senior managers and employees surveyed recently by OfficeTeam report similar ambivalence. Over three-quarters of managers interviewed confirmed their companies are planning a seasonal event. Yet almost half of the participating employees said they don’t enjoy the holiday festivities.
However like it or not, everyone is expected to at least make an appearance – particularly if the party takes place during business hours. Here are a few hints to help you survive and even enjoy the annual celebration.
1. Get involved:If you helped plan the party, chances are you will have more fun. You will also be recognized for your contribution, which will give you visibility among management and your peers.
2. Dress appropriately: Find out whether the dress code is business dress or more formal and what that means. Overly revealing clothing never makes a good impression.
3. Date or no date: If you are invited with a date by all means bring your spouse or significant other. However, the office party is probably not the ideal first date. You may be self-conscious and your companion may feel ignored.
4. Network: The office party can be an ideal opportunity to meet normally elusive executives or someone in a different department face to face for the first time. This could help open the door for greater cooperation on future interesting projects.
5. Limit alcohol intake: Only you know your own tolerance for alcohol, but if even one drink makes you act a little silly, stick with soft drinks. If you do imbibe, make sure you have a taxi chit or a designated driver.
6.Be positive: If you have a beef, don’t share it with others in a social setting. Make an appointment during work hours to air your grievance in a professional and confidential way.
7. Don’t hit on co-workers: Keep your hands to yourself. Office romances do happen, but the holiday party is not the place for inappropriate displays of affection that could embarrass others. You also don’t want to run the risk of being accused of sexual harassment by a subordinate.
8. Say thank-you: Office parties are not free. Companies spend money on them to show they appreciate their their employees and improve moral. Your department head or the CEO will appreciate your positive feedback.
Finally, remember every smartphone has a camera and videos can be instantly uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you would be embarrassed if the party video went viral, then make sure stay out of the limelight.