Office Party Etiquette



Remember it’s still a business gathering. Even though you may feel inclined to do so, this is not the time to let your hair down and get too relaxed. In fact, keep your hair up, watch what you say, how you behave, and whom you say it to. Your behavior on this night will still play a role in how well you are respected, whether you get promoted, and anything else pertaining to daylight hours at work.

Dress appropriately. This is not the time to show off to the guys or ladies that you have a fabulous body. Choose a sensible yet stylish outfit that won’t get talked about for weeks to come. 

Regardless of your tolerance level make it a 2 drink maximum night. No if ands or buts about this one. You want to always maintain self control and the best way to do it is to drink very little or not at all.

Don’t make the food your date for the night. Don’t head straight for the food. Don’t pile your plate up with food, and don’t hang out around the food all night. Join in with the celebration and have fun.

Don’t clump together with your friends. Work the room, and try talking to people you wouldn't usually talk to on a regular basis. You never know how important certain contacts might be in the workplace. 

Avoid controversial topics. Religion, Politics, Sex, you’ll just end up irritating you coworkers and this is the easiest way to get into an argument especially when fueled with alcohol.

Don’t kiss up to the boss or bash your coworkers. This is not the time to ask for a raise, shine your boss’ shoes or corner them with a long winded explanation of how wonderful you are. Also, you’ll just end up looking sneaky, and untrustworthy, when you say ugly things about someone else in order to make yourself look better. Any wise person will see right through you.

Watch out for your coworker who is overindulging or disorderly. You might have to step in and make a quick save. Rescue the receptionist from a frisky sales guy or save the head technician from the lady who wants to sit in his lap.

Keep your mind on Monday. Over doing it with anything from a screaming Karaoke session, to dirty dancing, or getting out of control at the fake gambling table, is not appropriate. These over the top and excessive behaviors are all that your coworkers will see stamped on your forehead when you return to work on Monday.

Mind your table manners. Use the correct utensil, no double dipping, no burping, no picking, and no talking with food in your mouth, nothing unbecoming or unsightly.

Thank the host or committee members. If you can thank them that night then do so. If not, then send an email the next day if you received an email invitation; or, if you received a written invitation, send a written thank you note. They’ve worked hard to make sure your office had an opportunity to celebrate, so be kind and simply say thank you.