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5 Top Tips on Surviving the Office Christmas Party

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Christmas is a time we tend to indulge. It’s not uncommon for many of us to eat too much, slack off the gym and have a few more tipples than usual. This year’s Christmas party is particularly special, with many companies having Christmas parties again in the post-pandemic world.   

However, this can make many people nervous. This Christmas party will be full of colleagues who have never been to office Christmas parties and those who haven’t been to one in a long time. While Christmas parties should be a time to bond with colleagues and have a good time, having too much fun could be detrimental to your career. 

So, how can you have a jolly time without overstepping the mark or waking up the next morning with excruciating hanxiety? Here are our top tips to help you survive the office Christmas party and avoid the naughty list: 

Stay two drinks behind your boss (or client) at all times

When the drinks are flowing, it can be easy to lose track of how many you’ve had. However, to avoid reputational headaches, know your limits and don’t try to keep up. Always be in control, and if you start to feel this slipping, drink water and fast – everyone’s tolerances are different, so don’t feel the pressure to match others’ drink for drink.

Alcohol causes a loss of inhibitions and affects our decision-making process, which will most likely trigger something you’ll regret the next day. So, if you’re drinking alcohol, keep to a steady pace and know when to stop. 

Don’t get loose-lipped 

We all like gossip, especially after a mulled wine or three. However, remember that while you may be getting on with colleagues famously at that moment in time, it doesn’t mean a throwaway comment won’t come back to bite you.

You never know about other relationships within a business or where loyalties lie. Keep to safe topics; the Christmas party is meant to be fun, so don’t add any unnecessary drama.  

Don’t just talk about work 

The office Christmas party is the perfect time to mingle with colleagues you don’t usually spend time with daily. Take this opportunity to meet new people and build stronger relationships with existing close colleagues through non-work related conversations.

If you feel anxious talking to new people or struggle to make small talk, prepare a couple of questions that will help you get to know your colleagues better. 

Put your phone away 

Of course, you want to document your fantastic night with your colleagues. However, don’t get too Instagram-happy when you’ve had a few. It’s likely colleagues and acquaintances will have a cheeky profile stalk if they’re tagged in photos, so don’t let them see a steady stream of photos showing you enjoying the night a little too much.

Take a few choice shots, and then put your phone away. You’ll thank yourself in the morning. 

Make sure you’re still on the form the next day 

The morning after the night before can end up being when you regret not booking annual leave like some of your colleagues. But if you’re at work the next day, it’s important to plan your day. While employers might be more lenient, they’ll still expect you to work professionally and productively.

Plan for meetings, ensuring that anything important is scheduled for the afternoon when you’re likely to be more switched on.  

Mark Pearce is the head of service development and delivery at caba.

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