The Office Party

The annual holiday party is a key occasion for employees to mingle casually with coworkers, impress managers, and get to know people they don’t interact with every day.  Unfortunately, this celebratory event is also a prime opportunity to tarnish one’s professional reputation, alienate others, and miss the chance to network and schmooze with bosses.

There are many office party blunders. Some are just missed opportunities, but some may cost one their career.  A few of most common gaffes to avoid are outlined below.

  • Failure to show up without a good reason.  Attending a party not only signals commitment to the firm but also an employee’s understanding of the intention of the gathering. A couple of hours a year is barely worth a complaint.
  • Drinking too much is the most flagrant offense.  Drunken attendees have been known to make passes at significant others, harass supervisors on the dance floor, and touch coworkers in inappropriate ways.
  • No matter how festive, an office party is a business occasion; professional, not sexy or suggestive, attire should rule the night.  Errors in clothing selection affect others’ opinion of a person’s judgment and credibility.
  • Flirting especially mixed with alcohol, with coworkers or their partners is unwanted and can result in complaints if not more serious consequences.
  • Bringing not just a significant other, but also children, grandparents and two cousins who happened to be visiting from out-of-town.  Uninvited guests only add to an employer’s expense and distract from the reason for the festivity.
  • Forgetting that an event is still a company business function and using off-color jokes or complaining about the boss.
  • Staying too long at the party.  The possibility of drinking too much and committing other gaffes increases with the passing of time.

The company event should be joyful but appropriate planning will help ensure that employees don’t risk their professional reputation.