by Flex HR

HR Advice and Holiday Office Party Social Etiquette

HR Advice Holiday Office PartyIt’s the most wonderful time of the year – however, there are some things that you and your employees need to be mindful of during these cheerful times. The holidays bring about a more relaxed atmosphere around the office, which is often a tricky boundary for Human Resources to navigate through. The most challenging holly jolly event is the holiday office party.


76% of companies are planning to have holiday parties this year, according to a survey conducted by Challenger Gray & Christmas, Inc. 

Here are some tips on how to be attentive yet enjoy the festivities:

Go to the party

First off, RSVP in a timely matter. Regardless of how long you’ve been with the company you should make it a priority to attend. Your absence may be noticed; showing up demonstrates your commitment to the company. Always introduce yourself when meeting new employees and engage all those in the conversation. Networking and building relationships at these occasions is an important gateway to the future of your career. You never know whom you will meet or the conversations that will be had. It might even open the door to join that team you’ve been eyeing for the past year.

Put your technology away

Don’t be that person standing in the corner on your phone all night. You’ll miss out on learning about your co-workers, hearing fun jokes and making memories to chat about the next week. In addition, colleagues may feel insulted or find it rude when someone can’t look up from their phone. Of course it’s okay to take that call from the babysitter or pull your phone out for a quick picture with your team. And speaking of pictures, be cautious with what you post to social media. Make sure images and captions do not come off as offensive or inappropriate content.

Mind your manners

While it’s easy to get caught up in the amusing exchanges with your colleagues, never gossip or bad mouth any of the workforce. Be polite and introduce those around you to others that may not know each other. If you start chatting with a co-worker about a current project, keep it to a minimum and pick back up on Monday. Stick to outside topics such as travel, sports, and family; nonetheless avoid politics, religion and sex. Use the party as a way to mix and mingle with those who you may not know well and have a good time in an informal setting. Be sure to thank all of the right people who coordinated the party and your upper leadership team accordingly.

Know the dress code

Whether the attire is cocktail or an ugly sweater, be sure you know what to wear. Remember, this is a work party so dress fittingly. Sure some extra sparkle is just fine, but keep in mind that you don’t want to be the talk about what was too short, too low or how much skin was showing.

Drink in moderation or not at all

Last, but certainly not least – more than half of all company parties serve alcohol. While employees know they shouldn’t get drunk at the company event, many do and often times regret their behavior or what was said later. If you choose to enjoy that spiked eggnog, be aware of how many you have had and know your limits. Definitely don’t forget to eat. Eating a small snack or protein before the party is a good idea, and don’t be shy to eat the food provided at the event.

The holidays are a great time for “making spirits bright” in the workplace. Use the office party as a way to get to know your co-workers better and network in a fun laid back environment.

To Learn More about our HR Open Advice for 2020 contact us.