Go­ing to an of­fice party?

En­joy the re­laxed time away from the daily grind, but be sure to fol­low some ba­sic rules

Weekend Witness - - Classifieds -

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.

PHOTO: FILE

Drink­ing too much, eat­ing like a beast and gos­sip­ing about your boss? Th­ese are all ma­jor of­fi­ceparty no no’s.

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