6th January 2016

On the sauce with the boss: Why I LOVE the office Christmas party

Now that Halloween and Guy Fawkes are out of the way, attentions seem to be turning increasingly quickly towards Christmas. The John Lewis advert has been released, the winter storms have arrived and the Christmas tree is up in Dundee City Square. Everyone’s diaries are will be filling up with office Christmas parties, department Christmas parties, football 5s Christmas parties, basically any excuse to forget about the colder days and the darkening nights. As excited as the employee will be about these parties, the employer will be equally as nervous. All kinds of thoughts will be going through the employer’s apprehensive head: Who will be propping up the bar at the end of the night? Who will be the one dancing with their tie around their head? Who will be the one jumping on a senior member of staff’s back..?

We have all heard stories about employees receiving disciplinary action as a result of their conduct at the Christmas party. It is important to remember that the Christmas party, and the aftermath, is still technically working time. Some Scrooges out there might argue that for the sake of your reputation and career, it is not worth the risk of attending the Christmas party. For me, as a more “junior” member of staff, I would always argue that you should try to attend if possible. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Team-building

The office Christmas party is a great opportunity to interact with members of staff on a social level – colleagues with whom you would not normally have the opportunity to socialise. You spend a large proportion of your life in the workplace. In my opinion work becomes a lot more enjoyable if you get on with the people you work with. I also believe that an amicable workforce creates a smoother, more efficient working environment.

  1. Well-earned

As stated above, you spend a large proportion of your life in the workplace. It is always good to have something to look forward to, whether it is a holiday or the Christmas party. A Christmas party is often a way for the senior staff to say thank you for your hard work over the year. On one view, it would be rude to be ungrateful for the opportunity!

  1. Fun

Most importantly the Christmas party is an excuse to let your hair down and have some fun! I am not advocating attacking the party in a gung-ho style which attracts the attentions of everyone present with your outrageous dance moves, but instead I am encouraging colleagues to get involved in any arranged activities and not to shy away from potentially embarrassing situations. Everyone is there to have a laugh at the end of the day. Do you really want to miss the opportunity of seeing your boss dance to Gangnam style in the middle of the dance floor?

As a last word of warning, remember it is a work event and that there will be a number of senior staff members present.  If you get carried away, you may justifiably be called in for disciplinary action on Monday morning. However, providing you keep the drinking to an appropriate level and avoid the infamous “that guy” tag, there is no reason why you cannot go to the ball and live to tell the tale.

Andrew Wallace
Solicitor – Employment Law

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