Going to an office party?
Enjoy the relaxed time away from the daily grind, but be sure to follow some basic rules
IT’S that time of year, when your inbox starts overflowing with invites to office parties and Christmas lunches. For the prepared, these can be a rich opportunity to network, strengthen relationships with colleagues and enjoy their company in an environment away from the daily grind — but there are some rules to be observed. STAY AWAY FROM THE BOOZE The first and most important is stay away from the drinks’ table. Of course it’s tempting to grab a glass of wine, especially if you’re feeling in need of a boost before introducing yourself to unfamiliar work-mates. But there’s nothing more unbecoming than being visibly the worse for wear — and it will do your professionalism no favours. DON’T STUFF YOUR FACE It’s also best to avoid overindulging when it comes to food. Unless it’s a sitdown affair, you’ll be doing the standing, talking, eating juggle, which can be difficult to pull off with elegance. Rather fill up at home. BE FRIENDLY One of the problems with office parties is that you don’t always know everyone there, and it’s easy to feel at a loose end in front of so many strangers. Remember that everyone else is probably feeling the same way, so don’t hesitate to join a group. Before you do, though, introduce yourself. Saying something like: “Hi, I’m S’bu and I joined the HR department in February”, will give context for the others to address you. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK Nervousness makes some people shy, while it makes others feel they have to keep the conversation going. If you fall into the second category, be conscious of how you feel. Wait a second before speaking so that you don’t babble or dominate a conversation. The way to win over people is to show that you are interested in them, so ask questions. DON’T GOSSIP An important point. Although you might think the easiest way to start a conversation is to talk about a colleague you all know, gossip should be taboo. SAY THANKS Before you go, be sure to thank the host. This is their way of showing you, and the rest of the staff, that your hard work is appreciated. — Women24.
Drinking too much, eating like a beast and gossiping about your boss? These are all major officeparty no no’s.