What to Do and What Not to Do at the Company Holiday Party

Welcome to the hustling and bustling Holiday season! This time of year often includes a holiday party thrown by the company you work for and, if you’re not sure what you should do and not do at these events, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you have fun, remain professional, and navigate company holiday parties with ease.

What to Do

1. Reminisce About the Year’s Accomplishments With Close Coworkers: While you don’t want to spend the whole party or even the majority of the party talking about work, reminiscing with your coworkers about the year’s accomplishments and successes can be a lot of fun. You can also reminisce about some of the running jokes or funny anecdotes you’ve all shared throughout the year. Keep the conversation fun, light, and feel free to go over the highlight reel of the year.

2. Mingle With Coworkers You Don’t Normally Get to: Unless you work at a very small company, there are probably coworkers you rarely get to or never get to converse with. The company holiday party is the perfect time to branch out and mingle with coworkers outside of your usual group.

3. Say Thank You: An office holiday party is the perfect time to thank your coworkers and bosses for all of their hard work and the many ways they’ve helped you succeed in the last year. It’s also a great time to thank whoever planned the party for all of their hard work putting the event together!

4. Have Fun: I know, you shouldn’t have to be reminded to have fun at a party, but something about company holiday parties makes people too nervous or too bored to really embrace the experience. It can be fun if you let it! Looking bored, focusing on your phone, and constantly checking the time to see when you can leave will prevent you from having fun. Just embrace where you are, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and have some fun!

What Not to Do

1. Skip it Even Though You’re Available: Unless you really can’t make it to the party, you should do your best to attend. Whether it’s nerves or dread causing you to skip, skipping the holiday party is never a good idea. You could miss out on a lot of fun with your coworkers or even appear flaky and not invested in your job. And, if you can only swing by for a few minutes, let people know in advance so they won’t be surprised or offended when you cut out early.

2. Participate in Office Gossip: Spending your company holiday party gossiping or complaining about your coworkers or bosses can quickly damage your reputation and have long-lasting detrimental effects on the team’s dynamic. It’s best to stay out of office gossip and steer conversations away from negative territory or simply walk away.

3. Dress or Behave Inappropriately: If there’s a set dress code, it’s best to find out in advance and make sure your clothes comply. Otherwise, dress a little nicer and more festive than you normally would at work and you should fit in just fine. As for your behavior, there are a lot of potential pitfalls at company parties thanks to the prevalence of open bars and party behavior that may fit in at a bar but won’t fly here. You can let loose and have fun a little more than you normally would in the office but it’s still important to put your best foot forward and be your best self around your coworkers and bosses.

4. Only Talk About Work: While you can talk about fun running office jokes and team accomplishments and work projects, you don’t need to talk about work until you’re blue in the face. Keep the shop talk to a minimum, focusing on lighter, more positive, and fun aspects of work. Then, mix in plenty of topics that aren’t related to work to keep the conversation fun, interesting, and different than a normal work day.

Don’t let the company holiday party intimidate you or damage your career. Use this guide to easily navigate any company holiday party in a way that will allow you to have fun while remaining professional.