Your year-end party: How to get down while still moving up

With the year coming to an end, most companies tend to throw an end-of-year function.

An end-of-year function serves a purpose beyond simply being a holiday party; these functions represent solidarity and take place to build on and maintain affinity between co-workers. Moreover, it is a way for companies to show appreciation and celebrate all that the teams have accomplished in the year.

However, as an employee, it is important to remember that such events are still business events, and one must not forget to keep in line with the company’s moral code and workplace etiquette. Here are 8 things that we recommend you to do and don’t do.



  1. Don’t skip the party:

Unless you have an acceptable and explicit reason as to why you may be unable to attend the party, then you should not even consider skipping it.

Skipping such an event will send a bad message even if it is not your intention: your boss and employees may believe that you are not committed to the company, that you are not happy, or that you are solely working for an income and don’t care much for the company. Social interaction in the workplace is vital and if done correctly and authentically can lead to promotions and better job opportunities.

  1. Don’t speak negatively

Remember that this is a business event. Avoid gossip. And most importantly avoid speaking negatively about the company or any of your colleagues. Keep a sense of camaraderie. Bad news gets around quickly and will eventually arrive at your boss or an important teammate. If this doesn’t cost you your job, it will make the workplace awkward and uncomfortable.

However, good news also travels around. So keep your head up, smile, and speak in a respectful and favourable manner.

  1. Don’t get drunk

There will most likely be drinks available at the party and it is certainly acceptable to let loose and have a few drinks. But do not get drunk! Being the drunk employee at the year-end function is not only embarrassing but it also reflects negatively on your professional persona. This also applies to food. Free drinks and food do not mean you should dive in head first.

  1. Don’t leave early (and don’t leave too late)

Stay for a reasonable amount of time. Move around the room and mingle with familiar faces. Furthermore, speak to unfamiliar faces; it never hurts to have friends at your place of work. Leaving early (without an acceptable excuse) will make you appear unappreciative and/or antisocial.

But don’t outstay your welcome either. Have fun and take a break; when it is time to leave or you notice many people are leaving, only then get ready to leave.



  1. Socialise

This is a fantastic and rare opportunity to talk to different people at the office; especially if you have been looking to speak to someone higher up. Office talk is alright, but most people want to take a break from work, so take note if someone is uninterested in work talk.


Find new people to speak to instead of only communicating with your friends and colleagues. This is the best time to network, make a good impression, and most importantly, impress your boss.

  1. Dress appropriately

The party is a business function. If there is a dress code, follow it. If not, then dress professionally. Don’t dress too formally, but don’t dress too casually either. Avoid an attire that is too revealing or too flashy (unless it is acceptable at the workplace). Keep your reputation intact. Keep in mind that appearance plays a big role, not only with the first impression but also the hundredth impression. So dress to impress.

  1. Choose your plus one wisely

If you plan on bringing someone to the function with you; first, ensure that you are allowed to bring a plus one; and second, choose your plus-one wisely. Your plus one should be aware of the company culture and the workplace etiquette.

Moreover, use this as an opportunity to build on your reputation. Your plus one has the potential to be a good reflection of you or a really bad reflection of you. So choose wisely and ensure that they avoid taboo topics and are aware of the generally acceptable behaviour.

  1. Thank your co-workers and the event organisers

Last, but certainly not the least important: thank your co-workers for a good year. If there have been any issues, try to work past that. A new year is always an opportunity for a new start.

Additionally, thank your boss and the person(s) in charge of organising the function. If you are unable to find them, make sure to send them an email. This act goes a long way and shows that you appreciate them and the company.