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Dos and Don’ts: Office Party Etiquette

Frat party antics and intoxication are just some of the things that are not acceptable at office gatherings.

Office party etiquette, conducting yourself appropriately at office or workplace social gatherings such as parties, and dinners, can be a perfect opportunity to improve relationships with your co-workers and management. Although some companies arrange for offseason gatherings, November and December are some of the more popular months for companies to hold social events for their employees and associates.

By simply attending, you can create a good impression. It is sometimes viewed as disrespectful and indifferent if you do not. Here are some important gestures and suggestions for conducting yourself.

First Things First

Mike Lininger, editor of said, “Find the host and thank him or her for the evening; if you are unable to thank the host personally, send a note the following day, thanking them and giving your regrets that you weren’t able to thank him or her in person.”

Dress Suitably

Lininger suggests, “Error on the side of dressing up.” Call ahead to see if there is a dress code.

Table Manners

People seated together at a table always introduce themselves to each other as a sign of courtesy and respect, even when they expect to conduct separate conversations, according to Lininger.

Some other basic etiquette guidelines will help you avoid an embarrassing return to the office on Monday morning.

• Enjoy the food and drink, but your interest in them should be downplayed.

• Assume that business will be discussed unless the event is very informal.

• Be aware that despite the social occasion, you are being observed by your employer and co-workers. Be dignified. Alternatively, employees are also observing their employer; be respectful.

• Turn your cell phone off. Cell phones no longer impress anyone and their intrusion is a source of annoyance. Take your calls out of earshot.

• Finally, plan to leave before the party ends, and definitely before the time stated on the invitation.