Ah ‘tis the season to be jolly at the work Christmas party! Although this might not be your archetypal Health & Safety blog, there’s probably some good advice to be had here somewhere along the line. In some respects if the worst thing that happens is that you end up with a hangover then you’ve probably done well!

It’s Christmas time…..

….there’s no need to be afraid, that is unless you believe the results of some research carried out by YouGov on behalf of the TUC in recent years. The poll revealed that 40% of workers had got drunk at their work Christmas party. This also led to 9% throwing up and 8% revealing something embarrassing about themself to a co-worker. We’re not entirely sure what the other 43% were getting up to, that might be an entirely separate piece of research altogether!

Good will to all….

By all means go to your work Christmas party with the intent of enjoying yourself, but mindful that you’ve got to spend a good deal of time with these people until the next Christmas bash comes around to give someone else the chance to steal the limelight!

So, as a result of the research, what was the advice issued by the TUC? It’s broken down to relate to both employer and staff separately –

Employers –

  • If you’re going to charge staff to come to the work Christmas party, make sure it’s something all staff can afford, and don’t make people feel bad if they don’t want to come
  • Ensure plenty of non-alcoholic drinks are available for people who don’t drink or don’t want to drink
  • Discourage managers from discussing staff performance or other serious HR issues
  • Advise people to check travel arrangements so that everyone gets home safely. If possible, consider offering transport home or provide the times of the last train and phone numbers for reputable cab firms

Staff –

  • Resist the temptation to complain about colleagues or ask your boss for a pay rise
  • Be careful not to say or do anything which upsets or insults anyone if you are emboldened with ‘Christmas cheer’
  • Resist posting embarrassing pictures of your boss or colleagues on social media
  • Think about booking a day off after the party if you think you may be too tired to work

So, here it is Merry Christmas!

Make sure you have a great time, you’ve most likely earned it and it is good to spend time with your colleagues away from the stresses and frustrations of the every day. Just remember that indiscretions will live long in the memory and people will delight in reminding you of them regularly and at the most inopportune moments.