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Tis the Season for another Office Holiday Party

You’ve got the office holiday party invitation and the date is around the corner. What do you wear? Should you come alone? Are you thinking about taking a pass? After all, you see the same people everyday — right? Here are some tips that answer the why and how of office party etiquette so that you can face your boss on the Monday:

Say yes to the invitation

If you are wondering if you should go or not – that answer is Go! Your absence will be noticed! If you have never met the CEO or President, introduce yourself. This is a good opportunity to influence your career.

Holiday Office Party

Single or Double?

Find out if the invitation is for you alone or does it provide the opportunity to bring a guest. If the invitation does not say, check with your manager or HR department before you attend. If the answer is yes, make sure the person you invite is someone who will comfortably mingle without you during the evening.

Have a care what you wear

It can be tough to strike the right balance between festive and appropriate when it comes to what to wear to the office party, however, the time, location and details on the invitation will give you an indication of what to wear.

For example: If your boss is hosting an “Ugly Sweater Party,” then the answer to that question is simple. But, if your company is hosting an evening party at a local hotel or restaurant, formal attire is more appropriate. When in doubt, ask your host or hostess about the event’s dress code.

Ladies, this is not the time to pull the slinky bandage dress from your closet. Keep it simple and classy. Whatever you choose to wear will reflect on you professionally.

Snack Attack

Don’t spend all your time at the hors d’oeuvre table, have a light snack before the party. This is also helpful if you plan on having alcoholic beverages at the party. Do not make dinner out of appetizers. Although you are there for your office holiday party, it’s still a business function.

Drink Less not Drink Up

If you drink alcohol at the party, know your limits and pace yourself. Better yet cap yourself at one drink for the evening and then switch to a non-alcoholic drink. Make sure you have planned how you are getting home if you have a drink or two; pre-arrange for a cab or your local ride-sharing company. Your employer may even allow you to expense your fare.

Mixing and Mingling

This is a good time to get to know people you don’t see daily, so don’t hide in the corner. Avoid excessive “work” talk and keep conversations friendly and upbeat. Don’t monopolize conversations. Have a few topics up your sleeve – and avoid politics and religion, as a rule. Keep it professional – no office gossip, bragging or complaining.

Unplug for the night

Use this opportunity to leave the cell phone at home and simply enjoy conversations with people you don’t usually speak with. If you have nomophobia (fear of not being near your cell phone), resist the urge to check messages every five minutes. Before posting any photos of the office holiday party, pause and ask yourself “Would this photo pass the CEO test?” Adhere to any office policies when posting on any social media sites.

Thanks Boss!

Within 24 hours of the party, send out a handwritten thank you note to your employer – and to anyone who helped organize the celebration. And always thank the CEO or owner of the company in person before you leave.


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