Holiday Office Party Do’s and Don’ts
Careers advice, Office Life

Holiday Office Party Do’s and Don’ts

Office parties have a reputation for getting out of hand. How can you keep your dignity intact?

It’s that time of year again! Time to eat, drink and be merry – but not too much if you’re attending a holiday office party. Office parties have a reputation for getting out of hand (as to be expected when you supply people with an open bar to celebrate their hard work for the year). We all know a story of someone who got a little too wild at the office party. And while it may be tempting to let off steam on your company’s dime, it’s better to err on the side of professional and keep your dignity intact.

Here are some do’s and don’ts so you can still enjoy your holiday party while keeping it professional.


  • RSVP – First of all, you should go to the holiday party. It’s a chance to get to know your coworkers better and do some internal networking. Unless you have a real excuse, go! Also, be sure to RSVP in a timely manner. The number of RSVPs is important for the organizer to make sure the event has enough food, drink and space.
  • Show up on time – Don’t arrive fashionably late to an office party. Even though it’s not a meeting, you should still put your best professional foot forward and be on time. The host will thank you.
  • Greet and thank the host – Speaking of the host, figure out what person or team had a hand in organizing the event and be sure to say hello and thank them for the invite. Planning parties is hard work and they will appreciate the acknowledgement.
  • Meet new colleagues – This is a perfect occasion to meet some new colleagues! Don’t just talk to the same people you always work with. Mingle around and meet colleagues from other departments. If you see someone you know talking with someone you don’t, ask for an introduction.


  • Drink too much – Consider this the golden rule of holiday parties or any work party for that matter. Stick to one or two drinks and be sure you’re snacking throughout the night. Even one or two drinks on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.
  • Talk too much shop – Keep the work talk to a minimum if possible. This is your chance to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level and to let them see more of your personality. Talk about holiday plans, hobbies, family, etc.
  • Gossip – While we’re on the topic of appropriate conversation, gossip is not included. Gossiping in the presence of so many colleagues can come back to bite you later. Remember kindergarten – if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  • Stay glued to your phone – There’s no better way to say “I wish I were somewhere else” than scrolling through social media in the presence of others. Keep your phone in your pocket or purse.