How to behave at your office Christmas party

The dos and don'ts of the most awkward night of the year

Christmas is the time for giving, as they say, and most employers will be giving generously this season. No, not a pay rise, no, not extra holiday, what they give is something altogether more awkward, haphazard and an utter mine-field to orientate – the office Christmas party.

For many, this is the one time you’re truly allowed to let your hair down, have a few drinks, maybe a nice meal, and celebrate in the joviality that good ol’ Santa sprinkles over us all at this time of the year. However, this is never quite as easy as it seems. How much do I drink? How do I talk to my office crush? What do I say to my boss? All questions that need solid answers before the party begins, because once the alcohol is flowing your inhibitions will be lost and you could wake up the following morning with not only a horrendous hangover, but an awkwardness in the office that will linger like a bad smell. Read our guide on how the modern gentleman should behave at the office Christmas party and read closely, for this is one party you don’t want to mess up.

How much do I drink? How do I talk to my office crush? What do I say to my boss?

Alcohol, oh alcohol, what shall we do?

How to behave at your office Christmas party

We know this is the biggest, most significant aspect to the office Christmas party that simply scares people senseless. The big question being, how much is the right amount to drink? Let me break this down for you. 

1 glass of champagne and a few sips of wine - too little

I mean, come on, it’s a party, as a matter of principle you have to get a little tipsy, otherwise you’ll forever be seen as ‘the sober boring one who sat in the corner all night’. Drink a little more, have a few laughs and you’ll be sure to secure your place in the office hierarchy.

A few glasses of champagne, a couple glasses of wine and a shot or two - just right

Now, this is very dependent on what your alcohol tolerance is. If you’re a colossus of a gentleman, perhaps this may be more, but around this level is guaranteed to let your true, mildly-wild personality shine without causing offence. Drink, and drink well, but never to excess.

Drink, and drink well, but never to excess

A bottle of champagne, a bottle of red, a bottle of white, and all the Jägermeister - too much

How to behave at your office Christmas party

All this will achieve is you attempting to snog a colleague you have zero interest in, vomiting all over yourself, and/or your boss, telling people what you really think of the

Right, so after you’ve nailed your alcohol consumption plan, you can begin to think about other areas.

My crush, however will you know?

How to behave at your office Christmas party

If you have an office crush, that’s absolutely fine. It’s not your fault if there are attractive women in your proximity for 40 hours a week, something’s bound to happen, right? Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. The main piece of advice is to always remain discreet. You’ll likely know if the feeling is mutual, so a cheeky snog at the end of the night is to be applauded. However, this can often spin-ball into whirling your shirt above your head whilst standing on a table and confessing your love. Please, for the love of god, don’t let this happen. Simple.

This can often spin-ball into whirling your shirt above your head whilst standing on a table and confessing your love

Ah the awkward silences, please no, please no!

How to behave at your office Christmas party

Now comes another vital aspect to the office Christmas party, how you should interact with your colleagues and, perhaps more importantly, your boss. Ok, we understand that things can get a little awkward, especially at the very beginning of the party. Nobody wants to talk about work, but it’s the only thing you all have in common. The best is to spark a conversation with just one or two colleagues, find some common ground, crack a few appropriate jokes and move on. This way by the time tipsiness fully kicks in, you’ll have a good base of people around you to bounce off. Finally, never take things too far with your boss – they’re the ones who pay you after all, so try to keep it fun and casual. Unless, of course, your boss starts smashing shots and singing Christmas carols, then and only then, you can join in.

Further Reading