Your Christmas party is risky business
Shaping the future of learning
It’s that time of year again. The work Christmas party. Company-supplied food, drinks and entertainment. It’s an opportunity to let your hair down and be rewarded for another year of hard work. It’s also an opportunity to tell that co-worker what you really think of them and pluck up the courage to ask the newbie in sales on a date. Or is it?
While the Christmas party doesn’t feel at all like work – in fact it probably doesn’t even take place at work, or even during work hours - it is very much still work. And as it is still work, all the normal workplace rules still apply.
As anyone who has posted a negative comment about work on a social media account knows too well, the definition of a workplace is not confined to the physical environment, or even to normal working hours.
If the company Christmas party is still work, do the normal rules still apply? The short answer is Yes. The company policies still and workplace legislation still applies. That’s right, you still need to follow workplace bullying and harassment legislation, sexual harassment legislation, the company social media policy, EEO, duty of care, the list goes on...
Does all this mean I can’t have fun? No, of course not. The end-of-year party should be a fun event and a way for employers to thank their staff for a year’s work over food, drinks and occasional silly game. In fact, as it is work, many people view these events as an opportunity to expand their relationships, get to know those they rarely speak to and more deeply develop relationships with other team members.
So, forget about telling that person what you really think, be careful approaching the attractive new hire and... enjoy yourself. You’ve worked hard all year and now is the time to have some fun. Just remember, you’re still at work.