Christmas party protocol

The office Christmas party is the perfect place to impress.

The office Christmas party is the perfect place to impress.

The barriers are down and there is the opportunity to talk to those hard-to-reach people. Circulate and socialise, but keep it upbeat and general. Ask about families, children and holidays; avoid money, politics and sex.

The proximity of office life is a breeding ground for gossip, but don’t spread rumours or confess sins.

Remember that the invisible line dividing real friends and colleagues can become blurred after too much mulled wine.

Behind the festive celebrations is the reality that you are socialising with colleagues under the eye of managers. Join in the camaraderie and indulge in the Christmas spirit, but know when to draw the line.

A little harmless flirting will oil the social wheels, but keep it light. Steer clear of mistletoe and dirty dancing. Keep good-night kisses innocent. If romance is on the cards, take it off-site.

Remember the boozing basics: avoid shots, eat well, alternate drinks with water. Have fun but don’t be the casualty everyone is talking about the next day. If things start feeling dangerously fuzzy, call it a night.

The day after still counts, so be at your desk on time and make sure your work doesn’t suffer. Crawling in hung over and late (or worse, pulling a sickie) is unforgivably unprofessional.