When Staff Behave Badly! Surviving The Office Xmas Party

When Staff Behave Badly! Surviving The Office Xmas Party
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



In this guest post, Phil Parisis (main image) from My Business shares how to survive your office Christmas party.

With the upcoming fortnight, the most popular time of the year for office Christmas parties, Australian workers and their bosses are being reminded of their responsibilities and the risks of unacceptable behaviour.

“Hospitality venues are booking up with end-of-year work functions and Christmas celebrations – we’ve heard the first two Fridays in December are the most popular dates,” said My Business head of product andsSales, Phil Parisis.

Phil Parisis

“After a two 0ear hiatus due to COVID, it’s great to see the office Christmas party back – but it’s also a timely reminder for businesses to brush up on their policies, many of which probably haven’t been sighted in a good couple of years,” said Parisis.

“People want to let their hair down but there are so many things that can go wrong and it can be a minefield for people to navigate.

“Make it really clear to staff in advance exactly what you expect and have clear policies in place –so they understand the consequences if they cross the line.”

Phil Parisis shares 6 tips for surviving the office Christmas party:

  • Do: Appoint Sober Sally: Have a responsible staff member on duty for the function. Their sole job is to manage staff and make sure the rules are being followed. You want somebody in charge at the event who can be called upon if something goes wrong or if a judgement call is needed.
  • Do: Know When To Flick the Lights: Have a clear finish time on the invitation to distinguish when the official event ends. After-parties will often kick on following the Christmas party and when there’s not a clear distinction made the lines can be blurred. Do you want to be responsible for decisions staff make at 1am? Probably not. Make it clear in an email to staff the hours the party runs for.
  • Do: Watch What You Drink: It sounds like a no-brainer but it’s important to monitor what you’re drinking. Organisers should have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks on hand for staff. Other ways to curb drinking can be drink tokens, reduced bar tabs or even asking staff to contribute to the cost of their own drinks.
  • Don’t: Over Indulge:  We’ve all been at a social function where there’s that person that doesn’t know when to stop. Don’t let it be you. All workplaces should have a clear drug and alcohol policy. This sets down in black and white the behaviour expected from staff and applies to your Christmas party as well. Remind staff of what the policy is and what the consequences are of a breach.
  • Don’t: Vent Your Frustrations: The office Christmas party is probably not the time to express your frustrations with your work colleagues. Whilst it can be tempting to vent to others about those personalities you find difficult to deal with, it’s unprofessional and can be a dangerous mix when alcohol is involved too. Keep your conversations light and jovial – in keeping with the festive spirit!
  • Don’t – Overshare on Social Media: As tempting as it is to document the entire party on Instagram stories – think carefully before you post content on socials. Are you showing the business you work for in the best possible light? Would you be happy with your clients or competitors seeing what you’re posting? Could you be capturing private conversations in those videos that are then being shown to the world? Be selective about what social media you post and make sure you have the permission of those you’re photographing or recording before you do. Every business should have a social media policy – make sure you know what yours is.

“My Business Workplace is a great place to start for small business owners who need help updating their policies for their Christmas party.

“We have ready-to-go templates for drug and alcohol policies, social media policies and sexual harassment policies.”

“We’re expecting to see a big spike in downloads of these this year particularly given the hiatus in work functions due to COVID,” said Parisis.




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Phil Parisis

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