How To Party In the Office

Posted by John Carroll on Friday, December 27, 2013 Under: Workplace
The holidays are more than gift giving and sipping champagne, but about connecting with family, friends and coworkers.  Here are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts for any office party that you are thinking about hosting or attending for this or next holiday season.

DO: Establish a dress code

It may seem overly simple, and overly obvious, but establishing a dress code can help alleviate several mishaps. Depending upon the venue, a dress code will allow party attendees to feel comfortable in the party setting. Stating the time of day will signal to the invitees whether to come dressed in an ugly sweater, business causal, or bedazzled New Year’s gown. Incorporating name tags into an office party can also be a beneficial tactic. Being able to identifying a person’s name, and company name, will lead to increased communication and interaction between staff and clients.

DO: Remember it is still work

Although this seems to be apparent, emphasizing the “party” more than the “office” can lead to unwanted outcomes. Tom Essig, Contributor for Forbes magazine notes, “’to really have fun, to enjoy being with people who inhabit familiar office roles in a new party way, it is useful to embrace this complexity, useful to embrace being inside the oxymoronic paradox of an ‘office party.’” He mentions how it is often easy to forget the conventional office rules and embrace the atypical party rules. Finding a balance between these can lead to party success and ergo party failure.

DON’T: Hang out with people you know 

Take advantage of your surroundings use the party as an opportunity to network. Author of "The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success With Less Stress”, Elizabeth Grace Saunder suggests straying away from your go-to group of coworkers.  Office party connections allow for less formal interactions, not only among clients but among your more senior colleagues.  "This isn't about completely relaxing and letting loose—unless you want a starring role in the water cooler drama the next day," Saunders writes.  It is, however, about spending time with key individuals who you can't connect with organically because they're in a different functional area or located at different offices." It much easier to embrace the “party” with your cozy group of colleagues but, it is much more worthwhile to embrace the “office party” by taking the leap to connect with an unfamiliar face.

DON’T: Over drink

Keep in mind that alcohol doesn’t always relax a situation it can often intensify one. It is worth highlighting the negative effects that can happen as a result of too frequent visits to the holiday punch bowl. Remember to keep it mind that although a “party” signals a less formal environment, your peers will be watching you in an office environment. Avoid being the talk of the workplace and do yourself (and your career) a favor by sticking to a drink… or two!

Holiday parties can bridge together clients and staff members as well promote camaraderie. Enjoy the opportunity and the holiday. Finding the balance between the two elements could lead to unexpected gifts, in the New Year to come.

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In : Workplace 


Tags: "on the job" "fun stuff"