10 Tips for Attending Your Office Holiday Party

As your office holiday party approaches, you’re feeling a bit uneasy. You might not even know what to expect, especially if you’ve never been to a workplace party before.

Having a party with your coworkers and your boss can definitely be intimidating—the last thing you want to do is damage your reputation. Luckily, these essential office holiday party tips will help you survive the night.

1. Actually Go

We get it, office parties aren’t always the most exciting. While you might want to stay at home and watch Netflix, you should try your best to make it to the event. Partaking in office activities outside of work is just a part of office workplace etiquette.

You don’t have to show up on time or even stay for the entire party. Just making an appearance for an hour or two will have your boss or manager viewing you as someone dedicated to the team.

2. Wear the Right Clothes

Make sure to ask the person organizing the party about the dress code. Dressing too professionally or too casually is a recipe for unwanted attention.

3. Chat With People You Usually Don’t Talk To

You might have a certain group of people you gravitate towards at work, however, you shouldn’t spend the entire time with them at the party. If you work for a large company, use the event as a chance to meet and talk with people from other departments in your workplace.

This can help improve communication between your department and the company’s other sectors. It’s also a great opportunity to mingle with higher-ups!

4. …But Don’t Get Too Friendly

One of the most important office party rules is to never flirt with your coworkers. Doing this can sacrifice your professionalism or get you into an awkward workplace relationship. Either way, flirting at an office party almost always ends in disaster.

5. Greet Your Boss

What’s the point of going to an office party if your boss doesn’t even see you? You don’t have to spend the entire party with your boss; just give them a quick greeting so they know you showed up. Brownie points for the win!

6. Keep Work Talk to a Minimum

Office parties aren’t necessarily a place to talk about work. When your boss and employees are off the clock, they definitely won’t want to hear all the details about the status of the latest project. Some work-related topics will inevitably come up, but that doesn’t mean you should use the party as a chance to further your position or make business decisions.

Try to keep conversations light. If you’re not sure what to chat about, bring up the latest movies, TV shows, sports, or vacation plans.

7. Stay Away From Touchy Subjects

Talking about religion and politics is a huge no-no. This will spark heated arguments and debates that no one wants to deal with during the holidays. In the same vein, don’t gossip about coworkers either—that’s just not classy.

8. Remember Your Drinking Etiquette

Don’t ruin your reputation by having too much to drink. Drinking one beer or one glass of wine is fine, but you don’t want to get drunk. Keep your social drinking etiquette in mind, and you won’t end up being embarrassed to return to work after the party.

9. Guests Aren’t Always Allowed

You shouldn’t assume that you can bring a date or guest to the office party. Check with the party’s organizer about letting a guest tag along—your company might want employees only to attend.

If you’re allowed to bring a guest, consider who you’re bringing. A boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t always the best option, as their behavior can make or break your reputation. Whoever you bring, make sure they behave professionally.

10. Have Some Fun

Just because you’re going to your workplace party doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Try to let loose a little and relax. You’re not at work, so don’t act like it! Learn how to become someone that people like hanging around, and you’ll make an amazing impression.

Emma Roth

Emma is a staff writer at Modern Ratio. Not only is she an avid writer and tech geek, she's an expert in makeup, skincare, and fashion. She's based in Connecticut.