Do’s and Do NOT’s of Office Holiday Parties


Ahhh, the Holiday’s are finally among us! There is nothing better than a little time off of work to spend with your family and friends! With these holiday’s also come the infamous office holiday parties! The idea of getting together with your bosses and coworkers at a holiday event might make some of you cringe (especially if you don’t like holiday events to begin with). There are many downsides to not knowing the do’s and don’ts of holiday office parties. With potential adult beverages, these events are practically covered in career landmines. While some of us are able to handle these events with ease, others may need a little coaching. Here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts for your next office event.

DON’T make an excuse

Holiday parties are a great time to get to know your co-workers in a more laid back environment. It’s great for team building and celebrating the end of the year. In many cases, attending holiday parties improves the overall morale of a team. Many employees skip out on the company party because of the potential awkwardness that comes along with the event. You might feel like you don’t have many friends in the office and that it would be easier to make up an excuse rather than being uncomfortable. These events are put together to reward you for a year of success, to get to know your co-workers, and celebrate the holiday’s together! Not showing up can harm your reputation socially and professionally.  Although these parties are not mandatory, some managers take note of who doesn’t attend. Unless you have a legitimate excuse, try to make it to your office party this year.

DO be professional

Anything that happens at this office party WILL follow you professionally. While you want to have fun and get to know your co-workers you DO need to remember this is still a company event. You are representing yourself and the company by attending. This means; Do not speak poorly about anyone or anything in regards to work, keep conversations positive and upbeat, try not to use vulgar language, be considerate of others, and no twerking. Yup, I said it. Definitely dance if you can, but avoid twerking at all costs.

DON’T spend the whole night talking about work

The purpose of this party is to get to know each other outside of your day-day environment. Don’t spend the entire night discussing work projects, clients, and business. Find something in common with who you’re talking with; whether it’s sports, cooking, hobbies or movies you’ve just seen. It’s okay to be yourself, have some laughs and get to know your co-worker’s on a more personal level. It’s a huge annoyance to get caught in a conversation with someone who can only talk about the office.

DON’T drink excessively

It’s really easy to have one too many drinks if you feel awkward at an event. Going along with staying professional, you do not want your reputation to go down as the person who passed out at the holiday party. In order to stay respected in your place of work, you must respect yourself.  Having a drink in hand while still being able to hold conversations with your co-worker’s is appropriate. Letting loose a bit is okay!  Taking shots at the bar and slurring your words is highly discouraged… Remember, this isn’t Vegas, and what happens at this party will not stay at the party.

DO dress for the occasion

Your holiday office party could vary from business casual to maybe a more dressy affair. Either way, dress appropriately. Showing too much skin at a holiday party gives the wrong impression. With some exceptions, you should try to stay within your company dress code. Show a little holiday spirit if you feel inclined!

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DO Socialize

Holiday parties can be used as great networking events. Get to know people you don’t see daily, socialize with other departments and try to build relationships. Say hello to people you’ve never met before, shake their hand, and see where the conversation takes you. Remember not to over step your boundaries, this is not really the time to start over sharing about your personal life. Try not to cling to people you’re already close with.

DO thank the person responsible

The person who put this event together worked extremely hard! Be sure to go out of your way to thank them for the event, and maybe even get a thank you card signed by the office. They’ll appreciate the thought.


In addition to the Do’s and Don’ts above, DO have fun! Get to know your co-workers, network with new people and build lasting relationships. These holiday parties are something to look forward to, not to dread. Always remember, be yourself!


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About Gabriella Calise

Gabriella began her career at EDI Staffing in 2014 as the Manager of Marketing and Client Services where she used her passion for social media and technology to connect top IT talent with our client partners. In 2016 Gabriella became the Executive Vice President of EDI Staffing, where she works closely with the President/CEO to find new and inventive ways to assist our clients and candidates. Gabriella oversees the day to day functions of the staff and continues to head our marketing and outreach efforts.

Outside of EDI Staffing, Gabriella teaches Saxophone and Clarinet privately. She enjoys exploring new places and spending time with her family and friends.

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