All You Need to Know About Office Party Etiquette
Proper office party etiquette is important. Although an office party may be a time to get together with coworkers for dinner and drinks, that in no way implies you are safe to wear blue jeans and act as you would if you were out with your best friends. Office parties are far different from other get-togethers. While their purpose is to relax and have a good time, professional business behavior is still expected. Office parties are often events that involve meeting potential clients and mingling with competitors, so it is very important to be on top of your game at all times.
Unless you are getting together at a casual restaurant and were specifically instructed to dress casually, always opt for a suit and tie, tux, or cocktail gown. Again, just because you are attending a party, doesn’t mean you should show up in a tight mini dress with a low-cut neckline or jeans and a t-shirt. An office party still means dressing business professional. Think business attire with a festive touch. This is especially appropriate around holidays like Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
Although it should probably go without saying, keeping your alcohol consumption to a minimum is important. Be sure to pace yourself and avoid drinking too much as it can hurt your reputation and lead to unnecessary embarrassment. Remember, once the office party is over, you’ll have to return to work on Monday morning and face everyone afterward. Try to stick to one or two drinks max, and sip on them throughout the course of the evening.
Gossiping with fellow coworkers or sharing your entire life story with people you hardly know can also result in damage to your reputation. The last thing you want to be known as is the person who talks about everyone behind their back, and you certainly don’t want to share too much unnecessary personal information. However, it is appropriate to mix and mingle and talk with many different people throughout the party. In fact, it is encouraged, and it can help you get to know those that are higher up on the food chain.
Don’t Bring Uninvited Guests
Typically, your invitation will indicate whether or not to bring a guest or a spouse. In this case, make sure to inform your guest of the proper attire and what behavior is acceptable beforehand. If there is no mention as to whether or not you should bring a guest, first ask your manager or play the safe card and do not bring a guest. An office party is not a free-for-all, so don’t tell your buddies that it is okay to drop in and say hello.
Finally, don’t forget to thank your manager and the host of the party, whoever it may be. Express your gratitude for the invite, and try to say goodbye to anyone you spent a significant amount of time with throughout the party. This is common courtesy and is always appreciated. All of these basic office party etiquette tips will help ensure you maintain a professional demeanor for the event.