Do’s and Dont’s for the Office Holiday Party

December 1, 2015

‘Tis the season for office holiday parties. I love a good work holiday party because it gives people a moment to celebrate all of their successes with their colleagues, and to get to know their team better in a more casual setting. So why do holiday parties sometimes cause people anxiety? What to wear? What to say? Who to bring? Don’t fear, we’ve put together some guidelines to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward at your company holiday party.

Say yes to the invitation.

Showing up to the holiday party is a clear sign that you value your company and your colleagues, so save the date on your calendar.

Dress appropriately for the workplace.

Sure, you can wear something fancy and festive. Just keep in mind this is still a work event so dress appropriately. You want the conversation to focus on what you have to say rather than what you’re wearing. If the dress code is not on the invitation, ask the organizers.

Bring someone who puts you at ease (if you’re asked to bring a guest).

First things first, make sure you can invite a guest to the party. If you do bring someone to the party, bring someone who makes you feel comfortable, someone who brings out the best in you so you can be yourself with your colleagues.

Arrive around the start time.

Get to the party within 15 minutes of the start time as it shows respect to the organizers. A few people will already be there so you can easily strike up a conversation right when you walk in the door.

Get out of your comfort zone and get to know new people.

This is your chance to mingle with people you don’t normally work with in a more casual setting. So break away from the people you work with every day, and meet some new people. It might help to have a wingwoman so partner with your #WorkBFF and tag team these new conversations. Before you go to the party, brush up on your knowledge of your company’s leaders and executives by looking up their LinkedIn profiles so you’ll recognize them when you see them at the party.


Keep the conversation positive and upbeat.

Take advantage of the more informal environment to get to know your colleagues personally. Steer clear of deadlines and projects at work. If small talk doesn’t come naturally to you, come up with a list of questions beforehand, such as movies people have watched recently or vacation plans for the holidays. Show interest in what others are saying, be gracious and thank your colleagues for their hard work. And while you’re on LinkedIn looking up people you should meet at the holiday party, don’t forget to check out their recent activity and interests for potential topics of conversation.


Be mindful of your alcohol consumption.

You know yourself best, so set your limits beforehand. Be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Keep one hand free for the obligatory handshakes, don’t forget to skip the dips, sticks and sauces.

Participate in fun social activities.

One of the best ways to bond with your coworkers is by doing something fun together, so if there’s dancing or karaoke, feel free to participate to the extent you feel comfortable. Just don’t overdo it.

Share your experiences on social networks after the party.

Capture some festive group photos at the party, then save the social sharing for after the party. Focus on spending quality time with colleagues who are right in front of you. And before you share a photo of you and your #WorkBFFs on LinkedIn, ask yourself if your CEO would be proud to see that photo.

Holiday_Social_Campaign_illustrations_4_530x530Now get into the spirit, put on that holiday outfit, and celebrate the night away at your office holiday party!