How to Avoid Office Holiday Party Fails

by Jessica Zartler / December 22, 2015

It’s only one night, but if you make an elf of yourself at the work Christmas-Chanukah-Kwanzaa-Festivus party, it can follow you into the New Year and beyond. What happens at the party never just stays at the party.

According to one human resources survey, about 15% of companies that hosted holiday parties say that inappropriate employee behavior in the past had resulted in adverse impact on employees' careers.

Here are some tips to stay on HR Santa’s nice list at your company’s celebration.

Dress appropriately

Before you sport a festive costume or sweater with Menorahs and Christmas bells hanging off of it, make sure you know the dress code. You don’t want to be the only one in a Mrs. Santa getup or Rudolph costume.

Just because your coworkers do it, doesn’t mean you should

It’s one of the oldest sayings in the book, but it’s especially important at the office party. Don’t take your ideas of what is appropriate from others at work. Use your best judgement.

Be careful with the Christmas punch

Having an adult egg nog or two is okay. But stop there. Or maybe to be on the safe side, stay away from alcohol all together. Enough said.

Don’t go snooping around the boss’ house

You may be tempted to look in different rooms and check the place out, but better to ignore the urge to snoop around. You may find something or someone you wished you didn’t.

Let loose on the dance floor. But not TOO loose

No matter how awesome you think your dance moves are remember, everyone will remember. Keep your shirt on and don’t pretend-ride your boss-pony across the dance floor.

Watch out for the Mistletoe

It’s tradition to kiss under the hanging greenery but if you see any hanging around the office, make a run for it. Definitely don’t stand next to your boss or employees. That would just be awkward.

Know when it’s time to call it a night

Don’t drag your feet at the end of the party. Make sure you look around for the cues that it’s time to say goodnight.

Don’t forget to thank the hosts

Gratitude is ever important. Make sure you take time to say thank you to all of your colleagues who put on the party. Because that’s what the holiday season is really all about, saying thanks.

Happy holidays and have fun!

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