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A Complete Guide To Company Party Etiquette (12 Essential Tips)

With the holiday season right around the corner, here are some rules to follow at your next company party.
by Rob Gillham | Sep 22 2022

It can be difficult to attend an office party or other work-related social event without being afraid of any potential mishaps that may occur. Despite the fact that it’s a workplace event, you should never forget to have fun with your coworkers. These tips will help you have a good time without compromising your professional reputation. The company holiday party is a chance to let loose, have a little fun, and celebrate the season with your colleagues. However, one false move could damage your reputation at work, making it a minefield of potential disaster. Social media has increased the chances of your exploits going viral, raising the stakes even further.

The following guide to company party etiquette will help you balance fun, good cheer, and professionalism.

Company Party Etiquette: The Essential Do’s And Don’ts

1. Be Aware Of Your Guests’ Behavior

When choosing a guest to bring along to your company party, choose wisely. Even if he or she is your significant other, don’t bring someone who exhibits inappropriate behavior. You will be negatively affected by your plus-one’s bad behavior. Make sure your guest abides by the same rules you do.

2. Invite Only Those You Want To Attend

Similar to the point above, it is possible that your boss intends to throw an office party exclusively for employees. It is never okay to bring your significant other or anyone else without asking first. Attending an event with a plus-one may anger your boss and embarrass your guest.

3. Talking Behind Someone’s Back Is Not Okay

There is no excuse for gossiping on the job or during a work-related event. When you run out of topics to discuss with your colleagues, you decide to talk about those who weren’t able to attend. Despite the fact that it’s not a nice thing to do, consider how you will feel if word gets back to your colleague.

4. Don’t Use Your Phone

Parties are held by employers to reward their employees and give them a chance to socialize. If you are constantly checking your phone, how can you take advantage of this opportunity? Focus on the present and put it away. If you need to check your phone occasionally, slip away. You can take pictures with your smartphone but remember to share them on social media later.

5. Keeping Offensive Jokes To A Minimum

Partying at the office is usually a lighthearted affair. As long as you are sure they won’t offend your coworkers or boss, you can tell jokes. It is not a good idea to tell off-color jokes in front of many people, so refrain from doing so. As a related note, you should avoid foul language as well.

6. Keep Your Work Talk To A Minimum (Don’t Overdo It)

Remember that this is a party, not a company meeting, so resist the urge to discuss fundraising or next month’s product launch with your colleagues. Making people talk about work when they’re trying to relax will annoy them, and you’ll miss out on the whole purpose of the party, which is to socialize with colleagues in a relaxed environment.

Try movies, a series you’re binge-watching, weekend plans, pets, family, travel plans, or the food at the party if you’re not sure what to talk about.

7. At The Party, Be Sure To Let Your Boss Know You’re There.

If you don’t want to stay at the party for hours, make sure your boss sees you before you leave. Be sure to say hello and talk briefly so that she doesn’t think you skipped out on her. If you talk to your boss for a few minutes, you can probably leave after only an hour if you want.

8. Get To Know People Outside Of Your Usual Circle

During a company party, it’s easy to spend the party with coworkers you know well and work closely with. However, you can actually benefit from using the party to get to know more people in your company. When you need something from IT or payroll, knowing and having good relationships with people on those teams can be helpful. Moreover, work social events are an opportunity to build relationships with people above you, which can pay off if they’re working on a project you’re interested in – they’re more likely to consider you.

9. Make An Effort To Attend

You might want to spend that time doing something other than hanging out with the same people all day at work if your office party is in the evening or over the weekend. If you can do it without much difficulty, it’s a good idea to at least make an appearance.

You might risk appearing disconnected from your job and your team if you skip the party, even if your manager says it’s optional.

10. Don’t Let Your Guard Down

It’s okay to relax and enjoy yourself. The party is, after all, just a party. Even if the setting is different from the one you are used to, remember that you are still at work. You are being watched by your boss. The same is true for your colleagues. Do not show a side of yourself that could be embarrassing or cause their opinion of you to change negatively. If you wouldn’t want your personal information to be known in a professional setting, don’t share it.

11. Dress Appropriately

The office party is a perfect place to wear party clothes, and it’s probably even expected. Don’t be afraid to wear something festive in place of your regular work wear. You should wear sparkly clothes, bright colors, and sequins, but keep the same respectability you would on a typical workday. Avoid wearing anything see-through or form-fitting.

12. Drink In Moderation

Should you partake in alcohol if your employer serves it at an event? Limit your intake, but don’t overdo it. When you drink alcohol, your inhibitions are lowered, and your judgment is altered. If you lack good judgment and are uninhibited, the last place you want to be is at an event hosted by your boss and attended by his or her colleagues. As a result of your actions under those conditions, you might become the subject of workplace gossip, or worse, you might lose your job.

Don’t exceed your limits. It’s fine to drink one alcoholic beverage or even two if you’re sure you can handle it. It is important to remember that perception is everything when it comes to drinking. If you drink too much, you want to avoid looking drunk.

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