The countdown is beginning and yes, it’s time to start thinking about the office Christmas party once again. For many, it’ll be the first scaled up version of an office party since prior to the pandemic, and while that may leave plenty of us excited, it’ll also fill many with dread.

The office Christmas party is back and it’ll be bigger than ever, and there’s no doubt the anxiety about drinking too much will already be at the back of the mind.

You’ll have already had “the date is set” emails pinged around your office, so now is the time to start preparing how to navigate it effectively, efficiently, and most importantly, without making a prat of yourself…

Watch what you drink and take…

It goes without saying, but it’s the number one rule – watch what you drink. While it’s a chance to let your hair down, you don’t want to be the person that’s showing themselves up having had one too many wines.

Equally, the workplace can be rife with drugs, and in particular cocaine, so avoid the white powder and leave it to those who want to have such problems. Peer pressure can be prevalent at Christmas parties, so don’t succumb as taking cocaine can lead to a pretty horrific night of feeling sick, not to mention further health risks, as well as the potential for disciplinary action if you’re caught, as well as the risk of addiction, which can be both life threatening and severely damaging on your own life and those around you too. Sometimes, all it takes is that one hit during a work night out…

You’re not off the clock

Yes, it’s evening time and yes the booze is flowing and you’re not physically doing work at your desk, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s completely free rein like you’re out with your friends. You may still be called upon to speak or make announcements and organise, while you should still have all the pleasantries you’d expect while in the workplace.

Sure, it’s an opportunity for your colleagues to see a more fun side to you, that’s all well and good to a degree, but still make sure that work persona is in place and ready to be called upon.

Get to know people, not more work stuff!

Work Christmas parties are an opportunity to bond and to get to know someone on a different level, not ask about how their reports are coming along. While you need to keep things professional and behave yourself as you would in work, find out a little more about the company you keep in the office.

While you should still avoid the likes of politics and religion, as well as keeping office politics well out of the equation, find out about your colleagues’ likes and dislikes, what they’re doing for Christmas and more about who they are when they’re not sat at their desk.