Norfolk Business Awards 2018

From flirting with the boss to leaving with dignity... 10 tips for surviving the work Christmas party

PUBLISHED: 12:23 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 24 November 2017

Do you know how to make it through the work Christmas party unscathed? Picture: Thinkstock.

Do you know how to make it through the work Christmas party unscathed? Picture: Thinkstock.


Christmas party season is fast approaching – but do you know how to handle the occasion without making a show of yourself?

We all know the pitfalls: simmering office resentments (or attractions), a group of people you only see during work hours and, often, more than a healthy splash of alcohol.

Fortunately, the 10 points below should keep you on the straight and narrow.

They includes things like eating before you go, avoiding romantic encounters and networking with your fellow colleagues - as well as how showing up can boost your career.

Chris Meredith, chief executive of, which compiled the list, said: “While the staff Christmas party may be a chance for you to let your hair down, you need to know your limits.

“Whilst it is important to have a couple of drinks and share a laugh with your colleagues, there’s a time and a place for some things.

“And getting too drunk, flirting with colleagues or being memorable for all the wrong reasons are three things you must avoid.”

1. Attendance is key

Although attendance to your staff Christmas party is optional, it’s a good idea to show your face. Even if drunken work colleagues, loud music and secret Santas aren’t your thing, it’s important to look like you care about your work life. And sometimes, all it takes is a night out for your work friends to become your real friends.

2. Eat before you go

If you know the party is going to consist of a lot of cocktails but only a few measly canapes, then make sure you eat before you go. Have something starchy like pasta or pizza to soak up the alcohol.

3. Network

Christmas parties are a great way to mingle with people in your office who you wouldn’t usually talk to. Use it to make a good impression on your colleagues and, you never know, it may even get noticed by the bosses.

4. Avoid romantic encounters

After a few glasses of prosecco, the singleton in you may find it ever so tempting to have a romantic encounter with another colleague – but be cautious of this. The next day back at work could be seriously awkward.

5. Keep your opinions to yourself

Sometimes, our drunken minds run away with us and we end up saying things we regret. There is a time and a place for discussions and it’s certainly not at the staff party. If you know that you have the tendency to blabber after a drink or two, then try to hold back on the booze.

6. Don’t drink too much

The free bar may mean that the drinks will be flowing, but don’t fall into the trap of drinking more than you can handle. Know your limits and don’t go over them.

7. Don’t be memorable for all the wrong reasons

While it’s great to make a lasting impression on your colleagues, it’s important to not be too memorable. Nobody wants to be known as the person who photocopied their backside or was sick in the store cupboard.

8. No flirting with the boss

Remember to always keep it professional. Never say anything that could be misread as being flirtatious. The same goes for touching as well. The safest option is always the handshake rather than a cheek kiss or hug.

9. Thank the host

If it was your boss who hosted the evening, the polite thing to do would be to send over a thank you gesture. Or if you know for a fact it was their assistant that did most of the work, it wouldn’t hurt to thank him or her either.

10. Know when enough is enough

The most important of the lot: if you find yourself making so much as a slight fool of yourself, then perhaps it’s time to hail a cab and head home.

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