Work party season is coming up. Soon we’ll be heading out to swanky venues to party with our co-workers on the company dime. It’s an excellent opportunity to unwind, and, done right, it can strengthen the social fabric of an organisation. It’ll also present myriad opportunities for embarrassment and awkwardness. But fear not, because we’re here to help with six ways to avoid slipping up at your work party.
So, the company is generously picking up the bar tab. But that needn’t mean that you get sozzled. Firstly, you’ll look like you’re a freeloader. Secondly, you run the risk of embarrassing yourself. The next time candidates for promotion and salary hikes are considered, you don’t want to stand out in the memory as the drunken barfly.
If you don’t like work parties, resist the urge to let everyone know about it. You’ll seem ungrateful. What’s more, all the people who’re looking to get ahead will gossip about how dreary you are. If you’re not feeling it, you can always duck out early.
Just because you’re not at work doesn’t mean the office hierarchy has evaporated. You can be courteous and respectful to your boss, but don’t try to make friends with them. Even if you like them. No-one, after all, likes a suck-up.
Talk About Work
You can consider some subjects off-limits in this setting. One of them is work. It might feel like a safe topic to broach, because it’s one you’re all familiar with. Plus, you might have some frustrations you’d like to get off your chest. Other taboo topics include how much you’re all making, how much the person who left the company is making, and any form of pay disparity.
Make a Move on a Co-worker
Do we need to explain this one? Sometimes this ends well, and sometimes it doesn’t. But the latter is more likely, and the consequences will be a great deal more severe than they might be outside of work. You will need to unpick the mess when you get back to work, and there will be funny looks to contend with. Office romances can be messy – and you don’t want to get into one unless you’re in possession of all of your critical faculties.
Whip your Phone Out
Sitting at the table all night with your phone in your hand is going to be a bit boring for everyone. It’s a sure indication that you think whatever’s on Instagram is more interesting than anyone in your vicinity. Resist the temptation, even if you’d like to take a picture or two. If your boss is forward thinking, they’ll have installed a photo-booth to allow everyone to do their posing, preening and gurning in a controlled environment.