News you can trust since 1817

How to behave on your office Christmas party

Published: December 4, 2017

If you thought your boss might cancel the office Christmas party, what would you do?

Now, most people’s thoughts on that might be ‘bah, humbug!’, but there are some of us who would welcome such Scrooge-like behaviour from the boss.

Indeed, a recent survey found that one fifth of UK workers dread the office Christmas party and will do anything to avoid attending what they see as booze-fueled obstacle courses full of career-threatening moments.

But then again, not all of us have the same trepidation about drinking and dancing alongside colleagues. In fact some of us embrace the festive season a little bit too much with one in ten office workers admitting to phoning in sick the day after the Christmas party.

In the event you’re one of those who think office Christmas parties are a good way of socialising with co-workers, here’s our list of dos and don'ts so you don’t have any cringe moments on your work night out.

The dos


You might think it’s no big deal to duck out, but some bosses take it personally. No one is suggesting you won’t keep your job, but some bosses use the office Christmas party to see if you’re a ‘team player’.

Pace yourself

We search for the Christmas spirit and Santa at Edinburgh’s Bar Hütte

It goes without saying, but if you get torn into the tequila shots before you’ve even sat down for the meal, you stand a good chance of... well, not be able to stand come the end of the night.

Don’t be a clown

Every office party has that one person who makes a fool of themselves after drinking too much, but no one wants to be the butt of the office jokes for the next 12 months. Worse still, in this age of camera phones, even those colleagues who chickened out of attending might get a laugh at your expense. The cardinal rule is eat before you drink.

Avoid the mistletoe

The best Edinburgh restaurants and bars to try in the run up to Christmas

It’s thought that one in four UK workers have kissed a colleague at an office Christmas party. If you want to make things really awkward for yourselves, go ahead and pucker up.

The don’ts

Be too honest

Everyone has that one colleague they don’t get on with. The problem is, a lot of people make the mistake of telling them after their tongues get loosened by alcohol.

Bang on about work

Scottish chefs and producers share their Christmas dinner plans, as well as some festive food tips

No one wants to hear it. The whole idea of the office Christmas party is to socialise with co-workers in a way you wouldn’t normally. Chat about targets, projections and any other work-based subjects are a no-no.

Ask your boss about a promotion

No matter how ‘nice’ your boss might seem after he’s loosened his tie and had a few drinks, this isn’t the time to be trying to advance your career.

Discuss contentious topics

No matter what your views, you should avoid certain subjects. You might think you’re showing a different side to yourself by discussing the likes of sex, religion and politics, but your co-workers could see things very differently.


Let us know what you think


Copyright ©2023 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram