The ULTIMATE Christmas party rules by Debrett’s: DON’T call in sick the morning after and don’t dress like Bridget Jones, but DO work the room
- 54% of us have made an excuse to avoid the office Christmas party
- 1 in 10 admit to calling in sick following their work Christmas party
- More than 1 in 5 have mis-read the dress code in the style of Bridget Jones
- 14 % of us fear mishaps under the mistletoe, while 17% worry we will make inappropriate remarks
By Katy Winter, Daily Mail. 13.11.12
The office Christmas party is one of the highlights of the professional social calendar and a staple of the festive season.
But it seems this annual office blowout can be as daunting as it is fun for Britons, with over half confessing they avoid the festivities completely for fear of committing a faux pas in front of their colleagues.
Small talk trepidation and dance floor dread means many of us will shun the champagne for the sofa in a bid to avoid festive fun altogether, with women more likely to stay away than men.
DON’T hit the bar with a vengeance: No one wants to be the casualty everyone is talking about (and sniggering at) the next day
A new survey has revealed that more than one in five (22 per cent) of office workers admitted to their very own Bridget Jones moment after misreading the dress code during the party season.
Drinking too much is the biggest fear among a fifth surveyed, with alcohol-fuelled embarrassment a particular panic for those in the North West (27 per cent) and London (28 per cent).
Making inappropriate remarks makes nearly one in five nervous (17 per cent), while mishaps under the mistletoe puts the fear into one in seven (14 per cent), and one in ten admit to worrying about setting tongues wagging with dubious dance moves.
DON’T let bonhomie turn into sleaze and keep goodnight kisses innocent.
However this year a firm set of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ is available for the less socially skilled amongst us to guide professionals effortlessly through the networking nightmare that can ensue when career, colleagues, alcohol and bad music are mixed.
The guide has been written by Debrett’s the authority on modern manners and etiquette, and includes advice on maximizing networking opportunities and top tips on what to avoid such as letting ‘bonhomie turn into sleaze and keep goodnight kisses innocent.
Jo Bryant, etiquette advisor for Debrett’s, said: ‘Although festive celebrations can seem intimidating, the office party is the perfect place to impress.
‘There is the opportunity to talk to those hard-to-reach people, as well as socialise with colleagues outside of the confines of the office.
‘Join in the camaraderie and indulge in the Christmas spirit, but know when to draw the line. It is important to maintain your professional gloss at all times.’
Debrett’s golden ‘Dos’ for the Christmas bash
1. Do make an effort to look smart and well-groomed, and ensure you adhere to the dress codes, if specified.
2. Do circulate and socialise, but keep it upbeat and general. Ask about families, children and holidays.
3. Do make the most of the opportunity to network with your colleagues and clients. Use small talk as a pleasurable way of making contact and cementing relationships.
4. Do ensure that you’re democratic in your mixing: this isn’t the place to schmooze your bosses and ignore your team.
5. Do your best to keep it upbeat and convivial – this isn’t the time of year to skulk moodily in corners and leave early…
Debrett’s office party ‘Don’ts’
1. Don’t gossip, spread rumours or confess your sins.
2. Don’t let bonhomie turn into sleaze and keep goodnight kisses innocent.
3. Don’t hit the bar with a vengeance and remember to eat well and alternate drinks with water. Have fun and a few glasses, but don’t be the casualty everyone is talking about (and sniggering at) the next day.
4. Don’t outstay your welcome. If you feel the drink is taking its toll, heed the warning signs and hail a taxi before any late-night lasciviousness or boisterousness comes back to haunt you.
5. Don’t crawl in hungover and late (or worse, pulling a sickie) the following day. It’s unforgivably unprofessional.
DO work the room: Keep conversation topics light and cheerful and be democratic in your mixing
Founded in 1769 Debrett’s has been the renowned expert in British etiquette and nobility for centuries
Debrett’s Peerage & Baronetage, a book which includes a short history of the family of each titleholder in Britain, including the Royals, is still published today alongside numerous etiquette guides including the A-Z of Modern Manners, the Debrett’s Wedding Guide and even Debrett’s Correct Form in the Middle East.