We’ve all been there the morning after the night before, holding our (sore) heads in our hands and trying to piece together just what we did, exactly. The office Christmas party can be a minefield if mixed with a few drinks too many and, unfortunately, can have far wider repercussions than simply a hangover and a few blushes!
The team at Robertsons Solicitors in Cardiff has had to come to the rescue of a number of clients whose festive frolics have landed them in hot water at work. So, before you get ready for the event of the year, here’s some advice from litigation lawyer Chris Barber about making the staff do a night to remember – for all the right reasons!
- Remember, smartphones are everywhere. In this day and age, everybody loves to get their phones out at parties to take photos and videos. If you’re in line for a promotion or pay rise and want to come across as the most suitable person for the job, a clip of yourself dancing on the table, one trouser leg rolled up above your knee, probably isn’t the way to impress your bosses.
- Don’t fight physically or verbally. Alcohol can quickly shed inhibitions, but remember you’re still accountable as an employee – even if the party isn’t taking place on company premises – and you could face sanctions if you bring the brand into disrepute. Be respectful towards your colleagues; watching how much you drink is usually the best way to help hold that tongue and your fists!
- If you find another colleague attractive, try to resist being overly friendly. What you might see as gentle flirting could be viewed by the object of your affection as lewd conduct, whether verbal suggestions or physical touching. Again, you’re accountable to your employer and any suggestion of inappropriate sexual behaviour could cause difficulties, not just in the workplace but even also with the police.
- Never view a staff party as the time to ask your boss for a promotion or pay rise, particularly if you’re planning on having a few drinks as Dutch courage beforehand! Not only could you embarrass yourself, your boss may also have had too much to drink and could make an offer that, in the cold light of day, will never come to fruition. Similarly, avoid ‘office talk’ with your seniors, so you don’t slip up and say something you might regret the next day.
- Dress appropriately. Casual might be fine, but anything too skimpy could lead to a wardrobe malfunction, which again could easily be captured on someone’s phone. As for Sellotaping mistletoe to your forehead and asking people for a kiss – big no-no. Leave the mistletoe at home and pop a nice warm coat on instead.