Top 10 Mistakes Made at Xmas Work Parties

The list of ‘no go’ behaviour is long and varied, but here are the top 10 mistakes people make at their work Christmas party. Think of this as your 'what not to do' guide.

As another year draws to a close, workers around Australia are often treated to a staff Christmas party.  Some see it as a once-a-year opportunity to let loose with colleagues, but it’s often issues arising at the party that have bosses and HR departments working overtime afterwards.

Year after year Melbourne-based HR consultant Karen Gately observes people making the same mistakes at times with devastating consequences for their reputation and career.

Here are the top 10 mistakes made - 

1. Drinking excessively

Feel free to have a few drinks with your colleagues but make sure you remain in control of your behaviour. When intoxicated you are more likely to behave in ways you will later regret including stepping over boundaries you otherwise wouldn’t.

2. Being sexually overt

included in this category is everything from unwelcome advances, public declarations of lust and ‘getting it on’ on the dance floor. Grinding your way through 70s classics may seem fun in the moment but is unlikely to help your career.

3. Broadcasting disapproval

Vocalising distaste with the choice of event, catering or venue is unlikely to be well received. You will be especially unpopular if you choose to complain publically.

4. Dressing provocatively

Dressing in ways that make other people uncomfortable can make them question your judgment or moral standards. The outfit you choose reflects not only your fashion sense but also your judgment skills. Assess what is culturally appropriate for your organisation and dress accordingly. Understand the dress code for the event and meet it.

5. Arriving late

It's ok to be a little late, but turning up well into the event is rude and likely to be frowned upon. Sneaking in during the speeches to a meal that has gone cold waiting for you will probably be noticed.

6. Sneaking out early

It’s unlikely to go down well if your unexplained absence is noticed. It’s important to attend and stay for the majority of the event whenever possible. If you need to leave early let someone know preferably before the day. 

7. Forgetting your manners

Avoid over indulging at the buffet, eating with your hands (unless it's that kind of meal), leaping on the last piece of cake or burping after a swig of coke or beer. While everyone's expectations are different, most people expect you to behave with decorum.

8. Starting arguments

It's really not a good idea to take up the issue that has been bugging you at the Christmas party. If you have a problem with a colleague, hold your tongue and deal with it at a more appropriate time.

9. Telling the boss what you really think

As tempting as it may be, the Christmas party is not a good time to deliver constructive feedback to your manager. Doing it drunk can have disastrous ramifications for your career come Monday morning.

10. Over sharing

Some aspects of your personal life are best kept to yourself. While it's great to build close relationships with your colleagues, choosing to share too much information about your love life or the last bucks trip you went on, can leave people questioning your maturity or ability to be discreet.

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