The Harrington Brooks guide to surviving the work Christmas party
Make sure you’re prepared for Christmas party season with our top tips for the staff do.
The biggest advantage you have during a night out is to have a fully charged phone, as you’ll be needing to make calls, take selfies, send drunken texts and more. It pays to keep your phone charged. Alternatively you could keep a mobile charger with you. They cost around £12 and can provide up to 40% of battery life – and they fit easily in to a pocket. If you’re going on a bar crawl make sure you know the route or places your colleagues will be at. And then you won’t be a billy-no-mates by the time it’s midnight.
How to handle work ‘mingle’ situations
If you happen to work for a large company there will be people who you may be meeting or talking to for the first time. In this situation don’t be afraid to mingle. It’s a chance to talk to senior managers and colleagues in other areas of the business in a relaxed environment. It may be worth finding out what their skills are and how they can help you. A decent rule of thumb is to spend 5-10 minutes chatting before moving on. Don’t hog their conversation or time.
Have a back-up plan if you need to stay late or leave early
As with any party things change and the tables can turn. If you plan on leaving early but then realise you want to stay and party like it’s 1999 make sure you have a back-up plan to deal with the consequences. Things like budgeting for a cab or even booking a hotel room may come in to play if things have unfolded during the night. Likewise if you need to leave early make sure you’re prepared in case you need to grab a cab or explain why you’re not using your planned lift home.
For some people it can be an Achilles heel and is a virtual gateway to behaving crazier than normal. This can include revealing those office secrets, declaring your love for a member of staff or telling the management what you really think of them. Worse still you take your work phone with you and decide to send an all-office e-mail featuring a blow-by-blow synopsis of the people you don’t like whilst using a comic font. Or emojis if you’re really drunk. The simple advice if you’re drinking is to not go overboard. Otherwise you could do something that may put your job at risk and later regret.
Take one for the team
There will always be someone who decides that acting crazy or inhaling helium from the balloons will gain kudos with their peers. They may have drunk too much and are in no fit state to continue. Or they are the obligatory person who has got over-emotional and starts crying like Rylan from the X-factor. If this is the case it’s always worth doing the decent thing and either having a word, shipping them off in a cab or being a shoulder to cry on when their running mascara makes them look like a member of Kiss. While they may not appreciate the sentiment at the time, they will thank you for it in the morning – especially if it keeps them in a job.
When the after party goes wrong
Depending on where your party is there may be a few of you that decide to carry on once the official formalities are through. This usually involves going on to a bar, casino or otherwise to continue the festive frivolities. Some people will normally think in advance and book a hotel. If however your colleagues find a way back to your pad, whilst being intoxicated, you’ll need to make sure they don’t trash your room or cause any other sort of nuisance. If you’ve paid with a card you may find your account is later debited with the costs of any damage should you or your guests decide to wreck the joint…purposely or not. If this could be a problem for you we suggest paying with cash.
Staying out may save the stress of getting a cab
There are typical scenes during Christmas party season, one of which is the rush to flag down a cab after the party ends. It’s usually true to say that trying to get a cab after a night out can be nightmare and expensive. And when every office decides to have a party it can be twice as hard. To avoid such a first-world problem you could try planning ahead and booking a hotel, check what’s cheaper. The other options could be to find a late night bar or café where you can relax until the demand for taxis has dropped. If you were being extremely frugal you could even try to get the first morning train or bus back home.
And last but not least…
Most people have a social media presence. Unfortunately this can be a disadvantage should you decide to upload unflattering pictures or comments on a work night out. Yet again this ties in to the decision making process which can be affected by the consumption of alcohol. What may seem to be a great idea at the time can be regretted ten-fold in the morning. While we can’t control what you drink we can help you control who you call and what you may post through an app called Drunk Mode. This limits who you can contact once you start drinking. It will even help you re-trace your steps the morning after. You’ll find it on Apple and Android app stores.
Some places of work now include a social media clause regarding the posting of messages about the company or otherwise. If you’re in any doubt don’t do it!