It doesn’t come across as something necessary but having an office holiday party can be beneficial to a company in many ways. Top off the list, it facilitates a closer bond between the employer and the employees. Everyone gets to interact with each other and it lays the foundation to nurture a good relationship which can have far-reaching positive effects for team building. It is also a fine way to boost morale among workers. When they get to end the year in a pleasant and enjoyable gathering, it influences their opinions about their job and the company they work for, serving as a motivating factor for them to resume work in an energetic and enthused spirit.
At the core of its essence, an office holiday party is meant to celebrate a year of work and accomplishments. While it’s just a party, it can be an unnerving event for even the most socially confident employee for reasons that boils down to the fact that it is a corporate party. Given that, it is often recommended for those planning the party to consider employees’ differing personalities and lifestyles in order to have a fun shared experience at the end of the day. Essentially, an office holiday party for each employee should be a fun time spent with coworkers. They should get friendlier with colleagues and get interactive about topics that are not work-related.
Be that as it may, it could end up as a gathering of drunken disasters and awkward turnouts. Below are some of our predictions for this year’s office holiday party.
20 Things to Expect at This Year’s Office Holliday Party
1. Someone Would Ignore The Dress Code
For most people, this is one of the stressful things that come with having an office holiday party as they are always confused about the dress code. The dress code for office holiday parties is often semi-formal attire but not many people can differentiate between formal and semi-formal or black tie and white tie. So you are bound to see a few colleagues show up with the wrong dress code as though they didn’t get the memo.
If you are not sure about what you have picked out for the party, you should do some research to make sure you get it right. You don’t want to stand out at the party, overdressed or underdressed, you wouldn’t be comfortable. One guiding principle for choosing the right attire is to keep in mind that it is a corporate event. Unless the dress code is casual, keep it formal to some extent.
2. You Are Going to Have Booze Issues
You will decide to get a little more excitedly warmed on boozy, but the drink will finish too quickly before you even get started. Or you will promise yourself to take as little as possible, but everyone will thrust it at you. Either way, you are going to be the only one who doesn’t get why the cupcake joke is funny or the only one laughing at the joke.
Alcohol is one of the things you should be very cautious about while at an office holiday party. Whatever you do, do not drink too much. You don’t want to be remembered as the drunk colleague at the party all year long. Your professional reputation is at stake so set a limit to what you would consume at the party and stick to it. You can get wasted all you want thereafter, not just at the party.
3. Expect Some Unexpected Bonding
As stated earlier, nurturing a bond between employees is one of the benefits of having an office holiday party. For a sizable company with various departments, employees only get to mingle with coworkers in their department throughout the year. So, a holiday party creates the opportunity for every worker of the company to meet and interact with each other. This can provide meaningful insights on how to have them work together effectively.
So while you interact with your colleague, some fellow you hardly ever spoke to is going to instinctively seek closer connections with you. It could be the guy from accounts. Or you will end up in an unfamiliar gang because employees will break into odd groups. At the end of the day, you might find that you have become fond of someone you never noticed or have made some new friends.
4. Smartphones Would Constitute a Lot of Distractions
It is no longer news that smartphones are distracting a lot of people and effectively keeping them unproductive at work. You can extend that to practically all areas of life: smartphones and tablets have become a threat across many fields; they are said to distract parents from connecting with their kids, create distractions in classrooms, and keep people away from cultivating meaningful real-life relationships.
Given that an office holiday party is a corporate event and a gathering of people who are mostly not friends, socially awkward attendees would actively engage their smartphones to evade interactions. And others would naturally get lost fiddling with their phones. To avoid these, the party should feature things like fun office party games to have the people engaged.
5. You Would Be Worried Your Gift Didn’t Measure Up
This probably happens at every office holiday party. You get a gift and you are so proud of the gifts you have bought. But then you see your co-workers with the gifts they brought and you are not so sure if yours is okay anymore. Relax and don’t feel bad, we would consider betting an eye your gift is alright.
The only thing you shouldn’t do is to show up at the party without any gift, especially if it is one such scenario that requires you to come with one. For instance, if your boss or one of your senior colleagues is hosting the party, you should take a gift along.
6. Someone Would Flirt With a Coworker
Flirting with a coworker is one of the things you shouldn’t do at an office holiday party, in any work environment, and even outside of work. You don’t need to be told why you shouldn’t do this but for the avoidance of any doubts, making passes at your colleague can be regarded as harassment and it is a litigious society.
So to avoid lawsuits that can cause grave damage to your professional reputation, you just have to cut out behaviors that playfully demonstrate sexual attraction to a coworker. While this is common knowledge, you will still find one of your colleagues hitting on a coworker.
7. Some of The Food On The Menu Might Be New to You
For some reasons that might never make any sense to you, your previous buffet favorites will be replaced with renegade options featuring most of your least favorites. You shouldn’t let this ruin the merriment for you. It is a one-time meal and there is no harm in getting a little adventurous and trying something new.
It is important to stress that one must embrace table manners and dining etiquette for meals at an office holiday party. We get it, you are enthusiastic about food but don’t be carried away so much that you embarrass yourself. Keep it professional.
8. There Will Be Tears, Laughter, and Hugs
It’s unclear whose tears they will be, but you are going to see some. People are going to be emotional for good reasons at some point. You will also get to see some laughter, hugs, and even cheer. Considering what the Covid-19 pandemic has put the world through, it is only natural that people would be high-spirited about having to come together for a celebration.
Nevertheless, reports of new variants of the virus, precautionary measures should be observed. Amongst other things a company should do to ensure the safety of their workers is to require Covid-19 vaccinations for attendees.
9. You Will See Some Bare Cleavages
That woman from (insert any department) will reveal way too much cleavage. She never misses it every year. This year won’t be any different. And even that other lady that wears an undersized dress to make her bum move all over the dance floor won’t fail either. Just mind your business and ensure you are not one of those to attend the party with scandalous attire.
Office holiday parties, no matter how casual they might seem, are still official events. As such, it is only ideal that some level of professionalism is maintained. So you should avoid things like see-through blouses, clothes with offensive inscriptions, overly tight clothing, and what have you.
10. Your Secret Santa Will Show Up With an Embarrassing Gift
For those who aren’t aware, Secret Santa refers to a Christmas gift-giving tradition observed across the globe but mostly in western countries. As part of an office holiday party, companies often randomly assign to workers whom they would give a gift. They often fix a price for the gift and the identity of the giver remains a secret.
You (or someone else) would take the time to get the right gift, one that didn’t break the price rules. The same can’t be said about the person meant to get your gift. She/he might break the $5 price rule agreed on, and get something of a rock-bottom price to the ire of those who planned the whole party. Well, you can do without the gift.
11. You Will Not Like What You’re Wearing
Looking at your standard-length mirror, your cloth looked perfect. You are happy you stuck to the dress code, knowing it is still a business event, but in the bright fluorescent light of a massive conference room, you remember you would have done better because you are no longer sure you are wearing something awesome.
Just be a darling and stay confident in your dress. As long as it is not a scandalous attire that sets you apart from the rest of the pack, you don’t have anything to be worried about. It is probably your anxiety striving to ensure you didn’t enjoy the party.
12. You Are Going To Show Up Way Too Early
You will show up on time because office events are important events and should be graced right on time. But it’d be just you and the “creepy” lady from the human resource department you never talk to.
Do not be perturbed; after all, one of the purposes of having the office holiday party is for coworkers to learn more about each other. So you just have to loosen up and make a new friend. Don’t be surprised to learn you are the creepy one at the end of the day.
13. The Cute Guy From Sales Department Won’t Show Up
You will be all braced up and eager with the hope of getting noticed by that cute dude from the next department. You plan to talk and mingle with him if that happens, but he will have some busy schedule that will keep him from attending because he doesn’t know someone needs him to be at the party.
Quietly find solace in your drink or, you can find out why he didn’t show up, it is a good reason to check on him. However, keep in mind that he is your coworker and some boundaries must be treaded on carefully.
14. You Might Meet a Staunch Eater
One of your colleagues will show up a little late and gobble different meals in less than an hour of the party. Then you will realize you haven’t had much because you don’t want to embarrass yourself. You should know that it’s okay to indulge yourself as much as you want. As long as you are not exhibiting signs of gluttony and your table manners are intact, you are alright.
15. The Chatty Dude Won’t Miss The Party
That overtly friendly coworker wouldn’t miss the party for anything. S/he is going to be all chatty throughout the party, seeking to know everything about everyone, including what they had. S/he will want to know when you went to the bathroom, who you spoke to, and what’s happening with you at that time. Just be polite.
In all, how much you enjoyed an office holiday party, to a large extent, depends on your attitude. Position your mind to have nothing but well-deserved fun after a work-filled year. While at that, be cautious to not embarrass yourself or soil your professional reputation.