This year, 94 percent of businesses will throw a holiday celebration, according to executive search firm Battalia Winston International. That’s a 7 percent increase from 2005.

If you are planning to attend the office holiday party this year, don’t be confused by the word “party”. Although office parties are intended as social events to reward employees and raise morale, in many cases, they still remain business events.

This year, I offered a helping hand in the planning of my company’s holiday party and as I searched the web for possible venues and tips on how to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for my colleagues, I was surprised to find that there are tons of “guidelines” for how to behave at such events.

I have already broken several of these do’s and dont’s over the years and my job might be in jeopardy but it is not be too late for others.

Here are a few that I found interesting:

  1. Do act as though your behavior is being observed (because it probably is).
  2. Don’t pass up the invitation to an office party; not attending could be considered offensive to upper management .
  3. Do be sure you know exactly who is invited to the party. Spouses or significant others are not always on the guest list for office parties. The office party is also not an opportunity for you to invite friends for free food and drinks.
  4. Don’t spend all evening talking work. It shows a lack of interest in connecting with your co-workers and makes you look boring.
  5. Do keep all conversations positive. Don’t spend the evening complaining about your workload or clients. It is also a good idea to avoid controversial subjects and off-color jokes.
  6. Don’t feel you need to drink excessively. An open bar is not an invitation to get drunk. Moderation is key. You can always drink more after the party.
  7. Do remember to avoid wearing anything too revealing or flashy. Don’t use the holiday party to debut your sexy-elf or bad Santa costume. The party is still a business function, so conservative party clothes are a good choice unless otherwise informed.
  8. Don’t forget to thank the person responsible for the organizing the party.

Here is a funny video clip from NBC’s The Office of how an office holiday party should not be conducted.
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