Holiday office parties and bad behavior do not mix

Image of a man, possibly drunk, who is puckering up for a kiss.

Remember, proper workplace behavior is required at holiday office parties. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Richard Clifford/Flickr)

December is here, and that means that holiday office parties can’t be far behind. In the next few weeks, co-workers will gather together at one office Christmas party or another, but just because there’s Jack and Coke doesn’t mean that public drunkenness and inappropriate behavior are OK. Standard workplace behavior still applies, suggests Fast Company – but plenty of people still need a wing man or two to guide them out of trouble.

Holiday office parties can affect your reputation

Dancing and having a good time at holiday office parties is fine, but getting sloppy drunk and feeling up your co-workers under the mistletoe is not. Rest assured that for every obscenely embarrassing action at an office holiday party, there will be cell phone cameras capturing it all. And if the boss is a witness, there could be a pink slip in your future.

In spite of this, holiday office parties remain a breeding ground for naughtiness. A recent survey by the HR firm Adecco points out that bad behavior at the office Christmas party is fairly common. About 40 percent of workers admitted that they have engaged in embarrassing behavior or know someone who has at holiday office parties. Twenty-three percent have been officially reprimanded for inappropriate behavior. Taking things a step further, 11 percent of respondents have been or know someone who was fired for inappropriate behavior. Insulting a colleague (7 percent) or boss (4 percent) was not uncommon.

Not many workers are hooking up

Fast Company reports that very few respondents to the Adecco survey admitted to hooking up at an office Christmas party (the key word being “admitted”). Only 3 percent of workers said they had hooked up with a co-worker at a holiday office party; it seems understandable that only a small number of people were willing to confess.

Holiday office parties demand some self-control

Getting drunk and mouthing off at your office Christmas party is a bad idea, particularly during a recession. If you don’t trust yourself around liquor and your office crush, make sure you have a wing man or two.


Fast Company

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