OFFICE PARTY ETIQUETTE
Words by Lisa Vanterpool
Illustration by Ravnita Rayet
How to maintain your style and still have a rollocking good time.
It’s the holiday season which means time for friends, family, and the boozy office holiday party. So, before you reach for that first glass of whiskey and belt out your rendition of Do They Know It’s Christmas, which is surely better than the Band Aid original, let’s have a quick chat about a few ways to keep it classy.
1. Mind your p’s and q’s
While it may be a 17th Century English Tavern term, minding your pints and quarts still matters and matters even more at an office holiday party. You don’t want to be that guy that everyone remembers for months and months after the party is over. Pace yourself, remember to eat a proper meal before you start throwing them back and stay hydrated. If you can, remember to have a glass of water after every drink and, if you can’t, at least start and end the night drinking plenty of H20. You’ll hopefully curb, or totally avoid, a hangover.
2. Mind the dress code
Your party might not have a dress code, or a theme for that matter, but if it does just go with it. Don’t take the ‘optional’ in a black tie optional affair so literally by showing up in jeans and a tee - even a nice tee. Someone likely went through a lot of effort to coordinate the office party and you’ll be seen as a bit of a prick if you don’t follow the dress code. If there isn’t a dress code still put in a bit of effort. In my opinion you can never be overdressed or overeducated so look smart.
3. Politics? No thanks
2016 has had its fair share of political drama. (I won’t remind you of it all, I know we’re all trying to get over it.) But now, while you’re decking the halls with your workmates, is not the the time to talk about it. It’s easy to think that everyone is on the same page as you but oh how quickly you’ll come to realise that that is not the case. So, just leave this category off the table and spend your time happily recapping the year and occasionally nodding and smiling when Suzy in accounts shows you pictures of her children, again.
4. Don’t say just anything
I know it’s Christmas, and Christmas is a time where you’re supposed to be honest, but now isn’t the time to profess your love to the one you’ve had your eye on all year. I know it seems romantic, thanks very much Love, Actually, but the next morning you might not be so thrilled with your choice, especially if things didn’t go exactly in your favour. Besides, these situations are best met in private and handled with complete soberness. Well, maybe just a nip for some extra courage.
5. Keep it above board
Drinks, plus music, plus laughter, plus a cute coworker, and there’s bound to be a bit of flirtation. It’s natural. But, you’re much better off keeping your hands to yourself. Sure, on the dancefloor, you can spin and dip as you and your partner see fit, but just keep things, ahem, above board. If, and I say this with caution, you find that things are getting a little hot and heavy with a certain someone, be discreet and leave the party. Discretion is your best friend.
Remember, most importantly, to have fun. This season comes but once a year so live it up as much as you can while being the gent you know you are. Happy Holidays!