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Going to an Office Party?

Etiquette Tips that Work!

Going to an Office Party? Here are a Few Etiquette Rules to Follow

Sure, everyone loves a party. But in the business world, these seemingly innocent gatherings can be a recipe for disaster. It's critical to know the proper business etiquette during a work or business-related party.

Here are seven important areas to keep in mind:

1) Parties are a good time for distributing office gifts

If you are the boss or upper management, the office holiday party is a good time to give holiday gifts to employees. Just remember: If you want to recognize a specific employee with a special gift, be discreet. The same applies for gifts exchanged between coworkers. This will avoid jealousy issues with workers who may feel short changed.

2) Clothing counts

Even though it's a party, remember that your choice of clothing should be suitable for a normal work setting. Women should avoid tight-fitting clothing, short skirts and low-cut tops. Men shouldn't wear jeans with holes in them or keep their shirts unbuttoned more than one or two buttons. If the party is held "off site," you can be more festive - however it still needs to be appropriate. It is still a business event. This goes for dates and significant others that you bring to the event. You are still being judged by the company you keep.

3) Grooming guidelines

The rules of proper grooming also apply when attending a holiday party at work. Sure, you can "let your hair down" a bit and relax. But now's not the time to experiment with a drastic new 'do. And men shouldn't arrive with a 5 o'clock stubble. Go easy with the perfume and aftershave.

4) Be aware of your alcohol intake

Watch what you drink. No one likes a drunk - and getting intoxicated with coworkers, and possibly your boss around, is not a good idea. Actually it is a very BAD idea. If you don't drink, but the boss wants to propose a toast …grab a glass of ginger ale.

5) Work can wait

Unless it absolutely can't wait until the next business day, don't talk about work issues during a holiday office party. Remember, this is a time to relax and have fun - not conduct business. Sometimes, however, the boss may have a brief agenda before launching into the festivities. Go with the flow.

6) Don't feed the rumor mill

If there is dancing be sure to mix. Don't spend all of your time with one person - it's the best way to avoid office gossip the next day.

7) Remember your manners and common sense

Just because you notice mistletoe hanging doesn't give you permission to grab people standing under it and kiss them.

Even though there are some basic etiquette rules to follow, don't forget the purpose of an office holiday party is to have fun. So enjoy yourself, but remember, it's still an office party.

What other tips can you share with our readers?