What you need to know about work Christmas Party protocol

The work Christmas party, a tradition as old as office work itself, is an annual event you either love or hate. The side of the fence you sit on will likely depend on how much you enjoy your work mates, however, it’s a good idea to attend and embrace the occasion regardless. The aim of office Christmas celebrations is not only an exercise in team building and morale, it’s a celebration of another year of business success.

September is here, and Christmas party season is right around the corner. If these events leave you feeling anxious and wondering how to cope, we’ve come up with a list of unwritten protocol to help you through.

Avoid the gosippers

Perhaps you’re new and don’t know too many colleagues yet, or maybe you’ve been on leave and the workplace dynamic has changed… if so, our advice for social interaction at work parties is to avoid the gosippers. Avoid rumours of any kind. The best way to enjoy yourself at a work function is to shun anything that resembles office politics.

If you’re a bit nervous to start appropriate conversations, we suggest classic icebreakers such as children, grandchildren, spouses, homes, holidays and favourite books, TV shows and movies. This is likely an alcohol fuelled event, so be on guard to evade mistakes like over-divulging personal information or criticising fellow team members.

Remember… responsible consumption of alcohol

Of course, this is the time of year to celebrate career highlights, team achievements and general success as a business. You should definitely let your hair down and enjoy the moment. However, we recommend you do so responsibly. Generally, parties come complete with free/cheap food and booze, so self-control may not come easily, but unless you’d like to be remembered as the office drunk for the next decade or so… drink responsibly.

We feel particularly strongly about this subject, especially if you have issues with co-workers or superiors. A little too much to drink, and you may be telling everyone what you really think about them… and you may not have a job left come Monday.

Attendance is important

You’re probably right in thinking the party will go on just fine without you, but what message does your absence send to the boss/team? It says you’re disinterested and you don’t see yourself as part of the team. If the company is going to go to the effort and expense of holding a celebration, it’s to say thank you- and it’s gracious for you to attend. Of course there are legitimate reasons to miss the work Christmas bash. No one expects you to abandon your child’s birthday party or to show up if you’ve genuinely got gastro… but just be mindful that if you’re coming up with excuses year after year…. someone will catch on.

It’s also polite to remember timing is important. Don’t just show up for the meal and take off again. Arrive on time (or fashionably late) and stay for a reasonable stint. Don’t miss out on too many activities.

Social etiquette

There are some basics of work function socialisation. Try not to monopolise one person’s time- make sure you mingle. If you see someone left out and alone, go over and talk to them. Invite them to join your group and involve them in the conversation. Some people are naturally more confident than others, and if you’re confident- make sure you reach out!

Be mindful of party organisers. Someone at your office organised this party. Make sure you thank them for their efforts and let them know you had a good time.

If you’re wanting to avoid any of the pitfalls above when office Christmas Party planning, we suggest you book an amazing venue. At Buttai Barn, we specialise in corporate functions and events, and we love entertaining work groups for their Christmas celebrations. There’s nothing quite like letting your hair down country-style and riding the Mechanical Bull, joining in the Bush Dancing and we recommend you don’t miss out on the hilarious games.  Ever tried riding a blow up horse? Come and give it a go! For a night you’ll remember, including tasty food, cheap drinks, dancing and live music- choose Buttai Barn. Give us a call  on 4930 3153.