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It’s that time of year once again, when you can get drunk in front of your boss. Photocopy body parts and flirt with your colleagues… its Christmas party season!

Back in the midst of the recession in 2009 the BBC reported that the office party was on its way out with more and more businesses asking staff to cover costs of the meal and entertainment.

You will be glad to know that by 2014 the most awaited seasonal event redeemed itself and last year saw a 30% increase in number of xmas parties taking place.

More than 70,000 people are expected to down their pens, work tools and laptops for Xmas parties their year. With 81% of businesses holding work party events.

It is not surprising that the more parties businesses have the more stories we hear flying around the office. We have heard it all and here we will share our top office party etiquette tips:

  1. Do watch what you drink
It important to remember that during the Xmas season restaurants are over run with parties and large groups for festive fun. Inevitably if your work party is large your food may be delayed and as such it’s always a good idea to have a snack before you start on the wine.

Don’t let the calories run away with you, these simple swaps can reduce calorie and alcohol intake and you will still be enjoying a drink. We have designed a great ‘calorie swap’ poster which shows typical Xmas drinks and the less calorific alternatives.

  1. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not work
Although you may not be in your work place it is still a work event. Which means best behaviour and all the pleasantries of work. Just like in the workplace you may be called on speak, make announcements, organise people, or even defuse situations so keep in mind that your work persona should still be in place.
  1. Do dress appropriately
The party is a chance to show your flare for fashion but remember to keep it professional. The sexy Santa outfit can stay in the cupboard. Dress up your usual business attire but keep it low key so no low tops, shorts skirts or hairy chests. Sparkle works well for the ladies and is subtle enough to keep the professional edge.
  1. Do ask before you snap
Before the event it’s good to ask about use of mobiles and cameras. Some companies have asked employees to not take photos or videos at annual parties. Remember that posting photos on social media can caused animosity on the office or worse case ruin the company profile. If you want to remember the night then ask your business to hire a professional photographer for images at the start of the party.
  1. Do attend!
With so many rules and regulations it can be off putting deciding to attend a work function. However it is important that you do attend even for part of the evening. Lot of planning goes into the office parties and you need to show you are a part of the team, appreciate your colleges and enjoy spending time with them.
  1. Don’t talk shop
Try not to talk about business all night unless you want to be the company bore. Think of some subjects beforehand to discuss but avoid, politics, religion or office gossip. Keep it light-hearted and use the party as a chance to find out about our colleges likes, dislikes, and hobbies.
  1. Do ask who is attending
If partners are invited to the night try and familiarise yourself with names so you are not left questioning who people are round the buffet table. Ask who people are bringing to the event and if possible view the seating plan beforehand.

Lastly, enjoy yourself and take the chance to learn more about your colleagues who you spend most of your week in the company of.

By Eugene O’Sullivan, Director, Morgan Pryce