Specifically, I have never seen a realistic set of guidelines sent down from above as to how employees are expected to deport themselves at the official corporate festivities. The email pops in from some kidding-themselves HR rep or department manager, sometimes winking along with everyone but seriously, just have one light-beer shandy per hour people. Sometimes it’s a personal plea to keep reputations intact (never yours – it’s always reflected reputation).
Nevertheless, office Christmas parties are the greatest because everybody ignores those ‘legally obligated’ emails. Are there ever any consequences? Nahhhh. And that’s why those of us who never lost the juvenile knack for targeted peer pressure deploy those talents to full effect, fuelled by an open bar and inescapable atmosphere of anything-goes debauchery until someone throws up and we walk away like a hero from an explosion.
Best of all, we don’t get hangovers like the rest of you, so even if the boss schedules said party on a Thursday night, we’re turning up to work on time with a bacon’n’egg roll and a blue Gatorade.
But beyond being villainous in the spirit of Yuletide celebration, what are the other benefits of an office Christmas party? Primarily, it’s a chance to de-silo the organisation. Champagne and canapes do wonders for breaking down those barriers, even if Katie from Pre-Press winds up kicking you in the shin for reasons best forgotten.
It’s also a great way to get some honest feedback from your people, as long as you accept it in the manner in which it is intended. At the urinal, usually, from a man with a sloshing schooner in his other hand for some reason.
If you do this thing right, you’ll unite the tribes as one.
- Don’t stinge on the open bar
- If it’s fancy dress, don’t wear a mask
- Invite the freelancers. We deserve the chance to make fools of ourselves on the company dollar, too