Company Holiday Party Do’s and Don’ts: Or, How to Make Sure You Can Still Work With These People the Next Day

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We’re well into December, so you know what that means, right? Yep: A lot of us are preparing to face that joyous celebration (or horrible nightmare, depending on your perspective) known as the annual company holiday party. Attending a shindig with the people you work with is not like attending a shindig with your friends; it’s full of social and professional landmines made all the more difficult when booze is involved. But luckily, Fast Company has us covered with their latest video, “What Not to Do at Your Company’s Holiday Party.”

I’ve gone to comparatively few work holiday parties; I’ve spent most of my adult life either in the theatre, or working for companies too small to actually have a holiday party. I have, however, occasionally accompanied people who work for enormous companies to their holiday parties, and, well… let’s just say they’ve been… uh… memorable. People sure do some weird things when they’re all gussied up and have access to an open bar, don't they? Too bad they didn’t have this piece of comedy gold to prepare them for it in advance.

Check out some of what I feel to be the most important points here, and scroll down to watch the whole video.

DON’T: Talk Incessantly About Work

“…And then the printer said it was out of green ink, but it was actually out of blue ink, so I think that Marcia was mad at me, and…” No. Just stop. No one wants to talk shop when they’re already surrounded by their co-workers.

DON’T: Trash-Talk Your Boss

Because you know he or she is going to be standing directly behind you while you do so.

DON’T: Overshare, Especially with Your Subordinates or Your CEO

Oversharing with colleagues is a no-no regardless, but it’s especially true when there’s booze involved, and especially when you’re talking to the people you manage — or the person who manages you. Family drama, your sex life… consider these and any other topics like them off-limits.

DO: Dress Up

Because dressing up for work holiday parties is actually kind of fun. But...

DON’T: Dress Up Inappropriately

You do still have to work with these people tomorrow, remember?

DO: Practice Moderation when Imbibing

There will be booze. This will likely be the best part of the evening. But whatever you do? Do NOT drink too much. Not only will it be embarrassing (see: still having to work with these people afterwards), but moreover, you will feel like hell the next day. Trying to get anything done while hungover — or worse, still drunk — is kind of like this:

DON’T: Dance Like No One is Watching

Because they are.

DO: Exercise Restraint with Regards to Social Media

If you Instagram the madness, everyone will hate you forever.

Apologies if your place of employment has already held its holiday party; at least you can save this one for next year, right? Watch the whole thing below:

Fast Company on YouTube

Images: adwriter/Flickr; Fast Company/YouTube (8); Gifrific