7 Essential Tips For Surviving Your Office Xmas Party
Ho, ho, how do I get out of this one?!
(Photo credit: Jack Kirwin) The John Lewis advert is out, radio stations are blazing with festive goodness and the countdown to Christmas is officially on. Which means that any second now you’re going to get that cheeky email with the subject line you’ve been dreading all year: RSVP office Christmas party. A carefully balanced minefield of organised fun and office etiquette, this yearly bash can be somewhat nightmarish to navigate.
Thankfully, we’re here to make sure you don’t make a total yule of yourself at your office do. Here are 6 survival tips to see you through the night:
1. Pace yourself
For many of us, the invitation to the work Xmas do will automatically trigger the desperate logic of “I am going to have to get drunk to enjoy this.”
But remember, your office Xmas party is not the place to recount how many tequilas you can down in a minute (save that for a strenuous Xmas day with the in-laws.)
Even if you work for a quirky creative company that lets you swear non-stop and roll-up to work in jeans and a tee, do not be fooled into thinking this casual approach means you can get no-strings-attached smashed at your Xmas do.
Because whilst your pounding hangover might ensure you don’t remember streaking naked across the company parking lot, your boss certainly will. And trust me, that’s a difficult mental image to erase.
2. Stock up on supplies
Binging on booze might be a big no-no, but anything else: dig in. If you’ve paid for a buffet then make sure you get your money's worth, and if the company is paying, then even better. All that free food is sure to steer you clear of any drunken sluggishness, so chow down. Pro tip: if you can squeeze a couple of tub-a-ware boxes into your attire, then you can stock up on snacks for weeks to come.
3. Form alliances
Believe it or not, your colleagues have a life outside of your 9-5pm that doesn’t involve staring at a computer screen or complaining about sales. So, it’s time to pull out the big guns and make small talk.
Remember you’re all in this together, so play nice. Make sure you stick to fairly neutral topics though; whilst some of those ugly mugs you see every day might double up as mates, anything that comes with a ‘work’ tag on it needs to be approached with caution.
4. Brave No Man’s land if you dare
If your office do usually involves fighting for standing spots around the walls of the room, then you’ll be familiar with the No Man’s land of the dance floor. A hauntingly open space, many the career has been crushed here under the weight of humiliating twerkings and badly-performed renditions of the ‘single ladies’ dance routine.
If you do dare to venture onto the dancefloor with your work colleagues, there is nothing wrong with a lil bump & grind, unless you are in a room surrounded by people whom your future career depends upon, in which case there’s a lot wrong with it. So steer clear.
5. Watch out for the top dog
If you encounter the awkward scenario of your boss offering to buy you a round, then try to keep your cool. The whole I’m-not-your-boss-I’m-your-mate routine is probably just as painful to them as it is to you, so no need to be a prude about it. But don’t let the frequent offer of free booze let your guard slip; they’re still your boss at the end of the day, no matter how many crap cracker jokes they pull out.
6. Avoid becoming office gossip
We all know there are office dramas that many are counting on exploding at the Xmas do – after all, it makes the whole office party ordeal a lot more exciting. A cheeky bet here and there doesn’t do any harm, so long as you’re not the one becoming this year’s hottest news topic. Remember: tonsil tennis is a sport best kept away from work property.
7. Plan your escape route
Hopefully all that festive spirit will brighten up your Xmas do, but just in case it turns out to be, dare I say it, even worse than last year’s, then it’s good to have a get-out plan. Your usual excuses of “needing to wash your hair” or “I’ve got something else on” aren’t quite going to cut it here, so aim for a big family commitment like needing to “check up on the babysitter.” Just be prepared for follow up questions like “I didn’t know you had kids?”