The office Christmas party is an event that’s on every office calendar. It’s a time for unity; a date where the whole office comes together to celebrate surviving the last twelve months as a collective. However, as you’re filled with more and more festive cheer, it’s easy to get carried away – 1 in 10 workers know someone who has been disciplined for inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas bash.

Here’s a little guide to help to help you get through the office party unscathed, and ensure you still have a job in the New Year.

Attendance is Mandatory-ish

Unless you’ve been struck down by smallpox or it clashes with a milestone life event; you should attend.

The office Christmas party is a time to celebrate all the ups and downs of the working year; successes and crises that you experienced as a team. Showing up is good for office morale and helps to show that you’re a team player.

And who knows, maybe when you’re three mulled wines deep and full of Christmas spirit, you might even realise that your colleagues aren’t even that bad. Except for Dave. That guy sucks.

Drink Responsibly

Some important things to consider here are:

1.       You still have to work with these people after the holidays.

2.       They will remember.

Don’t be afraid to have a drink but try not to overdo it. Yes, it is a party. But it’s a party organised by your company; you’ll still be under the watchful eye of management and you colleagues. And you will be held accountable for any misconduct.

My rule of thumb here? Always stay one drink behind the boss.

Dress Appropriately

*See above for important things to consider.

Again, you don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons. Saying that, there’s no need to go full-on formal; and festive jumpers (or sweaters) will be absolutely fine.

But, unless you work for Lady Gaga, the office party probably isn’t the best time to showcase your new sequined leather hotpants.

Keep Work Talk to a Minimum

Sales targets, quarterly figures, KPIs, customer queries, blah, blah, blah…

These are things you’ve been hearing day-in and day-out for the past twelve months. And the whole office is probably sick of having long-winded conversations about work topics, especially now you’re off the clock. So do yourself, and everyone else, a favour and keep the work talk to a minimum. Unless your boss is within earshot.

Put the Smartphone Away

Don’t be that guy. Don’t spend the evening on your smartphone, updating your Facebook or Twitter. It isn’t sociable. And, after a few drinks, it probably isn’t advisable.

And if you’re anything like me, you don’t enjoy having a camera-phone stuck in your face every 25 seconds. So don’t be that guy either. The majority of your co-workers probably won’t appreciate waking up to see they’ve been tagged in the album ‘Xmas Horror Show – 2014’.

Remember: Everyone is there to unwind and have a good time. Not to go viral on the internet.

Giving Thanks isn’t just for Thanksgiving

It’s highly likely that somebody had to organise the shindig – and pay for the free alcohol. So remember to thank the organiser (or Party Planning Committee) and your boss for the hospitality. It’s only polite, after all.

But most of all, remember to have a good time. Merry Christmas!