How To

Tips for Proper Office Party Etiquette

The Office Party
The Office Party

The “Office Party”.

It’s the perfect time to get drunk and tell your boss what you really think of them, right?


Web Watch used to work for a company that was rather liberal with their alcohol at events.  After a while, we had to wonder what one needed to do to get the Big Boss pissed off enough to fire someone for what they did at the office holiday party.  It became a fascinating experiment.

Web Watch recalls one party many years ago that we attended where the Big Boss ended up carrying one of the part-time employees out to a cab because she was passed out drunk.  This didn’t seem to have any affect on her career at that company, as she’s still employed there.

At a different party for the same company, the Big Boss’s wife got an eyeful when one of the male employees dropped his pants in front of her and flashed his junk.   She just said, “nice to see you again.”   Yes, it was awkward, but he also kept his job for a while longer before moving on to bigger things (no pun intended).

So it’s quite possible to make a drunk-ass fool of yourself at an event and not have any repercussions.  Sadly, that’s not always the case at most organizations.

That’s why you should try to follow some simple RULES FOR ATTENDING YOUR NEXT OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY.

  • Don’t do anything at the party that would take away from the job that you do at the office.  For example, try wearing underwear if there’s any chance that your pants or dress may suffer from a wardrobe malfunction.  It sounds like a simple little thing, but your office co-workers will appreciate the effort you put into it
  • Try not to drink too much.  Remember, this is still an office event, not a neighborhood social.  You should try to maintain some level of professionalism in your conduct.
  • Avoid superfluous networking.  Don’t just work the room, but genuinely try to meet/talk with the people you’re at the party with. 
  • Don’t get too clique-y with the people you’re with.  You may work in one department, but try to reach out to some other folks who you don’t get to converse with as often as you normally do.  Cliques create conversational clumps, and can be hard to mingle and get to know your co-workers better
  • Put away the smartphone.  Really?  You need us to tell you not to check Facebook while you’re at a party?
  • If applicable, try to get a minute or two with your own Big Boss.  Make sure they know who you are, and what you’ve been working on.  Try to have a quick “elevator speech” set of topics selected in case you need to converse intelligently on a specific business topic.
  • Relax, have fun.  It’s not a place for too much work-work conversation, as that could be a turn-off to those who are trying to enjoy themselves
  • Alternate alcoholic beverages with water or club soda.  Put a lime in the mixer if you want to make it look like you’re beveraging.  Don’t over-indulge, and know your personal limit for when you’re getting a little too tipsy for the conversation going on in the room.
  • Don’t do shots.   Shots should never be done at an office party


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