The rules of office party etiquette


Corporate events are a great opportunity for colleagues to get to know each other on a more personal level. These events are not just about delicious food or getting dressed up. They are also about socializing with colleagues, which could open the door for more opportunities in your career. Everyone will be a bit more relaxed than usual, but this doesn’t mean that professional etiquette should be thrown out the window.

These are a few tips on how to leave a lasting impression when it comes to corporate parties.

The rules of office party etiquette

Show up

Showing up to the office Christmas party or fundraiser is the most important rule of business etiquette. It may not be everyone’s idea of fun to mingle with the people you see every day, but it is a sign of respect towards your employer to show up. Employers usually host these events as a way of showing gratitude towards staff for their hard work and dedication. Ignoring the invite won’t go unnoticed among your colleagues or your employer, and you’ll do so at your own risk.

Don’t overindulge

Just because you’re attending an office party, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Get on the dance floor, loosen up, and enjoy it – just make sure you don’t go overboard with the refreshments. Overindulging can do some serious harm to your reputation. It’s never a good idea, especially if you don’t want to end up stumbling around or slurring during a conversation with the executives. Keep control of the situation and your actions by limiting the refreshments.

Dress appropriately

Most parties are usually hosted after hours, but keep in mind that is it is still a professional environment. Formal attire may not necessarily be a requirement depending on the theme of the event. However, this doesn’t mean that clubwear or other provocative outfits are appropriate. Some events may have a festive or fancy dress theme so be sure to dress accordingly. You don’t want to be the only person who didn’t make an effort to dress up as their favorite celebrity at a “night of the stars” event.

The rules of office party etiquette

Don’t gossip

We’ve all heard the phrase “juicy gossip,” but gossip is not that juicy at all. We all have our opinions and in a relaxed environment, it may be tempting to express them. However, avoid saying anything negative about someone or participating in office gossip at all costs. You never know who might overhear it. Maybe your boss asked for a few extra hours this week or maybe your manager is just plain rude, but this is not the place to discuss it. Leave the gossip at home and take a second to think about how it would make the other person feel to hear those words.

Show gratitude

Hosting a corporate event is not cheap. Someone ends up footing the bill, and it’s usually your boss. Remember to thank them for organizing the event. Comment on how much you enjoyed the hors d’oeuvres or mention how great the music was and how much fun you had on the dance floor. By thanking your boss, it sends a positive message to them that you are grateful to be a part of their company.

Lastly and most importantly, make the most of the evening. You spend the majority of your day with your colleagues so make an effort to get to know them a little bit better.