Workers and employers have wide ranging opinions and plans related to office Christmas parties.
The 2019 Holiday Party Survey by executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found that 76% of U.S. companies plan on holding Christmas parties this year. That is up from 65% last year, and is the highest percentage since 2016. Interestingly companies in the UK are not as enthusiastic about holiday parties. An Office.co.uk survey found that 61% of London companies will spend less on their holiday parties this year. Another survey by recruiting firm Reward Gateway found that more than half of U.K. workers wish they didn't have to attend Christmas parties.
Ebenezer Scrooge doesn't seem to make regular appearances in the Bay Area. The Tree Lighting Celebration at Westfield San Francisco Centre, the It's a White Christmas Party at the Redford, and the VC Christmas Party at Four Season SF are just a few of the many holiday celebrations coming up this weekend alone. But office Christmas parties often place company personnel in social situations that typically do not happen from 9-5, Monday through Friday. These three tips will get you through the festivities unscathed.
It's no secret that hops, fermented grapes and other beverages with a proof rating are ever-present at office Christmas parties. Company culture dictates the amount and types of alcohol at end-of-year soirées. But everyone over the age of 30 who has worked in office settings throughout their 20s have stories about themselves or others at past Christmas parties. Better (or worse) yet, some can't remember every party from the past.
The rule of thumb at office Christmas parties is one beer per hour. Punch bowls are tricky because you really don't know what's in them. Thus a glass every 90 minutes is probably best in those situations. This is especially important for new employees that don't know everyone very well. You don't want your first impression on your colleague being your topless Macarena dance at the party. Common sense and mitigated teetotaling are the keys to having fun without overindulgence.
Office Christmas parties can quickly turn into scenes similar to college dorm parties. Excess is bad. But you also don't want to be the prude of the party. The saying goes "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." Those are wise words for office parties.
Ideally your buddy should be someone you know and trust from the office. Set your limits before the party starts and ensure adherence for one another. It's like having a workout buddy to motivate you at the gym. Except in this case, your buddy is there to keep you from being the gossip topic on Monday.
It's rare that you'll have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the company CEO when they are in a "compromised" state of mind, if you will. But this is not the time to make your pitch for a promotion.
Office Christmas parties are meant to be fun mixer-type events that facilitate conversation between colleague that otherwise never communicate. It's inappropriate and frankly, gauche to talk about anything work-related at office Christmas parties. Relax and have fun. Just don't have too much fun.
The Eco Office team has a Christmas party of its own. But the rush for end-of-year office redesigns and office furniture upgrades for our Bay Area clients keeps us busy in the final weeks of 2019. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to ensure your office is ready for 2020.