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13 Workplace Party Etiquette Rules to Follow

13 Workplace Party Etiquette Rules to Follow

There are many reasons why office parties are organized. Achieving targets, overachieving targets, festivals, traditions, etc. are all reasons why corporate shindigs are held. There is usually one party a year at each office, though some places hold many each year. Despite it being a party, it is still a professional event and requires a modification of your usual party behavior. 


1. Do Attend

Even if your workplace party doesn’t have mandatory attendance, you should make the effort to go. Some people want to leave work at the end of the workday, and anything extra seems unwelcome. However, a corporate event is often a chance to socialize and get to form more personal relations with your coworkers and seniors.

2. Be Punctual

There’s usually a start and end time to office parties because they are after all corporate events. Most of us have been conditioned to be fashionably late for parties but we should avoid that. Don’t stay beyond the specified hours either. Avoid making a brief appearance and disappearing shortly after that as well. 

3. Dress Appropriately

You can dress up in partywear for your workplace party. It’s a nice excuse to let your hair down with your colleagues. While shine, shimmer and sequins are all okay, avoid wearing anything too revealing. It’s usually frowned upon to show too much skin at an office party. You can ask your colleagues about what they’ll be wearing to plan your outfit. 

4. Don’t Bring A Guest Unless Asked

A lot of us feel nervous about attending a social event on our own and would rather bring a date along. Unless you’ve been told it’s okay to bring a plus one, don’t bring a guest. Sometimes the seating and food at office parties is limited and an extra person can really throw things off. Ask the host if it’s okay to bring a guest if you’re unsure. 

5. Watch Your Guest’s Behavior

If you’ve been given the go ahead to bring a guest, make sure it’s someone who knows how to behave professionally. Your guest shouldn’t get drunk, flirt with your coworkers, bring up controversial topics, hog the buffet, etc. Your guest’s behavior reflects on you as well so make sure they can put their best foot forward or simply go solo. 

6. Snack Before You Go

Arriving at your workplace party starving might make you hangry. You’re not going to be good company if you can only think about when the food will be available. Sometimes food arrives late at corporate events, after everyone has arrived, socialized, and speeches have been made. You don’t want to stand around hungry or, worse, drink on an empty stomach. 

7. Don’t Gossip

When we interact with our colleagues outside the office, it puts the interaction in a new context. This can sometimes lead to awkward lulls in the conversation. Many people fill these by talking about people you know in common, like other coworkers. Avoid gossiping, however, because not only can word reach back to the target, it also makes you look bad. 

8. Drink Responsibly

Many office parties have free drinks. Sometimes people get really enthusiastic about that and start knocking back the drinks. Do remember that you have to keep working with these people and you don’t want them to think any less of you. There’s a greater chance of you saying and doing something embarrassing if you get drunk so know your limit and stick to it. 

9. Hold Your Drink In Your Left Hand

One way to avoid getting drunk at a workplace party is to nurse your drink. However, holding a drink can leave your hands wet and clammy, which will make handshakes unpleasant. You’ll also have to keep switching your drink from your right to your left hand. You can avoid that by holding your drink in your left hand, keeping your right hand free for socializing. 

10. Don’t Be A Wallflower

Some of us are naturally shy and introverted but you should make the attempt to be more social at an office party. People usually watch the door to see who’s come so make sure you enter and start greeting people. Don’t pick a corner to hang out until you can slip out unnoticed. Avoid burying your face in your phone. 

11. No Vulgar Dance Moves

If it’s a party, there’ll probably be music. If there’s music, you might be encouraged to shake a leg. You can go ahead and bust out your dance moves but avoid anything risqué. No twerking or pelvic thrusts while you’re at an office party. You don’t want all your hard work at the office undermined by people thinking of you inappropriately. 

12. Avoid Controversial Topics

You might find yourself wondering what exactly to talk about with your colleagues at a corporate event. Removed from your usual office setting, conversations can be harder to maintain. No one wants to talk shop but it’s also best to avoid any sensitive topics, like politics and religion. Asking about favorite movies, books, sitcoms, cuisines, etc. is a good way to get to know people better.

13. Thank The Host

When it’s time for you to leave, you should thank the host. Many people forget to do that in a professional setting, but it’s a graceful exit that’ll make the boss notice you. Thank them for the event and say you had a good time. You can also include the HR person or whoever helped plan the workplace party. 

We hope these tips help you stand out professionally at your next office party! Remember that even though it might seem like an “extra”, these events are part of corporate life. It’s best if you get used to them and have a set code of conduct about how to get through them.