What Not to Do at Your Office Party

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By Prerna Sood | March 4, 2014 3:59 PM EST

If your employer is the kind that throws regular parties, you're in great company then, literally. An office party gives you that comfortable opportunity to bond with your co-workers and be informal with your boss. You should have fun but at the same time stay cautious about having too much fun. Follow these tips and you will have your dignity intact, even after the office party.

CreativeCommons/MoyanBrenn
What Not to Do at Your Office Party

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  • Don't Overindulge
    An office party, however informal is still an extension of your work environment. Nobody would want to be topic of gossip the next day in office. People tend to get carried away with all the free booze. It's smart to know what your limits are and stick to them. Even if you think you can handle your drinks, keep your intake to one or two. It's okay to let your hair down, but you're still around your bosses and superiors, so you don't want to do something to risk being judged by them.
  • Stay Away From Gossip
    It's not surprising to find employees often gossiping about their co-workers or superiors at an office party. Alcohol and office gossip almost always end up in embarrassing situations. It's best to stick to small talk. You can talk about your family, kids, movies, books, holidays, some general topics that everyone can contribute to. Also, don't end up revealing too much about yourself just because you are relaxed. It is very easy to get carried away and have a conversation that can land you into trouble when you are having a good time with your co-workers.
  • Dress Right
    Don't go overboard with that little black dress or that flashy bold blazer for your office party. Sure you can dress up in a festive fashion if the party is for an occasion but avoid anything that you wouldn't wear at office otherwise. If there is a dress code, pick your attire accordingly. Don't wear anything that is revealing, of inappropriate size or totally out of the dress code.
  • Don't Flirt
    Your office party is a chance to see a completely different side of your colleagues. A regular co-worker might look more attractive with all the dressing up and bright lights. Initiating any flirtatious conversation at an office party is a complete no. No matter what your intention is, romantic inclination of any kind towards anyone will flush your reputation down the drain.
  • Don't Bring Uninvited Guests
    Office parties, generally, are only for employees, sometimes for a specific department of office even. Don't assume that it is alright to bring your spouse/date/friend or anyone else to your office party. If you do want to bring anyone, make sure you ask first. If you have been asked not to bring a plus one, honor the request and don't.
  • Timeline
    It's important to keep in mind the time you arrive at and leave the party. You don't want to arrive too late in an attempt to seem star-like. It usually leaves a completely opposite impression. People often attend office parties so that they remain in the good books of their bosses and not come across as a bore to their co-workers. Point is, you want to be seen by everyone so arrive on time and don't leave too early.
  • Don't Go Empty Handed
    If your employer or a fellow worker is hosting a party in lieu of an occasion, don't go empty handed. Buy something that is not too personal but makes for a pleasant gift. If you want to re-gift something you already have, make sure you redo the wrapping paper so it at least seems brand new. It shouldn't be used. Gift something that makes some sense to the person you are gifting it to. If you want to buy something inexpensive, flowers or a box of chocolates is great.
  • (Photo: CreativeCommons/MoyanBrenn / )
    What Not to Do at Your Office Party
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