Tips for your office holiday party
Have you ever attended an office holiday party? I have. I've been to many in my twenty plus year career working in the private sector. I used to be a fan, but now I'm not sure if it's wisdom or I'm just getting older and cranky because I've soured on them a bit. Now before you go and call me Scrooge, hear me out. There are still some things I like about celebrating the holidays with my co-workers, but overall getting dressed up and spending my free time with them is not one of them.
Types of Office Holiday Parties
Holiday office parties come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some of the types I have attended over the years.
Potluck – Typically takes place during the workday. Everyone makes a dish, brings drinks or a dessert. A great way to try a ton of different food. Sometime includes a secret Santa game as well. At least one co-worker brings Tupperware for leftovers.
Formal – Could be black tie, although I have never been to a holiday office party that formal, but requires a little bit more than the business casual attire we are accustomed too.
With Guest – Typically an after work formal event. A chance to dress up and get out with spouse or date.
Without Guest – Typically an after-work event where you get to spend even more time with the same group of co-workers you already spend forty plus hours a week with.
Cash Bar – A party where the meal is on the house, but all drinks come out of your pocket. This usually helps keep most people from making fools of themselves.
Al a carte – This is where the entire cost of the party comes from the sale of tickets to the event. Basically, out of your pocket. It could include a guest.
Fund Raiser – I have been to a few where the cost is covered out of your pocket or by sponsors (vendors) and all proceeds go to charity.
Now I'm sure there are other types, but these are the ones I have been involved in over the years.
Do's and Don'ts of the Office Holiday Party
Now that we have outlined the basic party types, let's look at some of the dos and don'ts to remember.
-Mingle / network
-Drink too Much
-Bury you head in your Smartphone all night
-Be the last one to leave
There are many more do's and don'ts from the so-called experts, but I think you get the point. I would hope for the most of us common sense would prevail and we would not need to refer to a list like this before attending. If you do find yourself needed tips on how to act at a company function I might suggest you skip it altogether.
Now back to the point of why I'm not a fan of the office holiday party. It's something that took it almost twenty years to realize. My co-workers are not my friends. Well, for the most part. There are a handful of co-workers I hang out with outside of work.
Think about that for a moment. Do you want to spend your free time and pay cash out of your pocket to party with a bunch of people you don't care for? I'm not anymore. My epiphany occurred when I lost my job in 2015. A job I had held for over twenty years.
See when I was in the middle of it I didn't realize that after I didn't share the one thing I had in common with these people, work that I would never talk to many of these co-workers again. So, it has changed my perspective on many things, and certainly meaningless things like office parties. Why in the world would I spend my free time with people I only share work in common with.
I much rather spend my time and money with family and true friends. Sure, I'll take part in the potluck or other activities that occur during work time, but I'm not giving up my free time. Does it hurt me that I don't attend? Who knows and I don't care. I'm working my plan for our money and I always do my best while at work. I don't think my boss will notice if I'm at the office party or not. Bah Humbug.
Are you a fan of the office party? What's your favorite type? Have you ever witnesses an office party horror story? Am I being a Scrooge?