‘Tis the season! Christmas party dos & don’ts

Taryn Heinrich

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is nearly over. Thinking back to this time last year, we were so full of optimism for the year ahead, with no idea of what we were all about to go through once again.

With the outlook for 2022 looking a lot more positive, our calendars are finally starting to fill up again and one event, in particular, is back in the diary; the work Christmas party.

Keeping in mind that an external function still counts as being in the workplace, here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in the back of your mind.

√ Do:

      • Celebrate the year and what has been achieved. After another year of multiple lockdowns, it’s the perfect time to celebrate with your colleagues, many of whom you have probably spent most of the time virtually connected to rather than face to face.

× Don’t:

      • Get caught up in work talk all night. Yes, it’s a work party but don’t spend the whole time discussing emails, workload and what you need to get done on Monday morning. Keep the conversation casual and light; it is a party after all!

√ Do:

      • Dress up and celebrate. We have just spent another year in loungewear, it’s time to dust off the old wardrobe and transition back into washed hair and clean clothes.

× Don’t:

      • Misjudge the dress code. You don’t want everyone talking about what you were wearing long after the party has finished. Just remember that it’s still a business event.

√ Do:

      • Eat, drink and be merry. Let your hair down and enjoy yourself. It has been some time since we have been allowed to go to restaurants and pubs, so enjoy the fact that we can be out and about together again.

× Don’t:

      • Wake up the next day and not remember how you got home. There is no worse feeling than the sheepish walk into your workplace Monday morning with no idea of how the night ended. Or even worse, a meeting request from the boss and HR.

√ Do:

      • Use this time to reconnect with your colleagues. There may even be new people that have started that you haven’t had a chance to meet yet. With people moving back into working onsite again, catching up with people face to face rather than over a computer screen will be a welcome change.

× Don’t:

      • Have a few drinks and use this time to let Karen know how you really feel about her Facebook posts or how you are sick of seeing Jenny’s cats on Zoom. Keep it respectful and keep your opinions about your colleagues’ personal life to yourself.

√ Do:

      • Remember that during the official part of the night that all company policies and procedures are in play and can be breached at any time throughout the formal work portion of the celebrations.

× Don’t:

      • Forget to remind your staff prior to any work events about your sexual harassment and bullying policies, code of conduct, social media policy or drug and alcohol policies. You do not want to be holding disciplinary meetings or worse yet, terminations of employment just before Christmas.


The end-of-year party is a time to reflect, unwind and build excitement for the new year to come. Enjoy the celebrations and have fun!



Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.

About The Author
Taryn Heinrich

Taryn’s passion is working with businesses and individuals to bring out their best. Taryn developed her HR generalist skills working on investigations, strategic planning, employment contracts, and developing and implementing HR policies and procedures.

Working closely with your business and employees, Taryn has a distinctive talent for setting people up with the tools they need to do their job safely and helping your business operate successfully. If you need help with anything HR related, Taryn is your go-to person!

On the weekend, you’ll find Taryn spending time with her family and friends – she’s always the first to arrive and the last to leave.

For more useful information, follow Taryn on LinkedIn.

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