Like it or not, Christmas is on the way. We rather like Christmas here at 24-7 Staffing and some of the team are already scoffing the mince pies and getting in the festive spirit. ‘Tis the season to make merry, have goodwill to all and we really hope you have a great break, but it does come with a couple of little warnings that we think are worth reminding you about.
Firstly, please do remember that the Christmas ‘works do’ can be a minefield of potentially embarrassing incidents and could even threaten your job. Every year a lot of people forget that while you are at an event provided by your employer you are likely to be still subject to your contract of employment. Effectively it is an extension of the workplace. That means that your behaviour could well result in a serious disciplinary issue if it is considered inappropriate.
Alcohol is the biggest cause of problems at office parties, so the best advice is moderate it or, if you are not much of a drinker, avoid it altogether. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure you don’t end up with a phone call from the H.R. in the New Year.
- Leave the gossip alone. Christmas parties are pressure points for deeply held grudges. If you hear people gossiping or moaning about colleagues (managers in particular), walk away and keep out of it.
- Beware of stepping over the line. There is a big difference between having a laugh and sexual harassment, bullying, or inappropriate behaviour. Whatever the circumstances keep it appropriate or you could be facing dismissal.
- Twerking and other things. The party is supposed to be a time to cut loose and let your hair down, so a bit of embarrassing dancing is probably fine. Managers and team leaders, on the other hand, may want to exercise a little more discretion than other employees, after all, you will need to face the team in the morning!
As a last thought about the Christmas party, remember that you will also need to get home safely afterwards if you are not staying over in a hotel as part of the event. So again here there are a few simple things you can do that will help to make sure the party doesn’t end in an incident.
- Arrange your transport in advance. Find a reliable taxi company, give them your name and book a cab in advance. Getting cabs in the Christmas period is difficult but changing a pickup time will be easier than trying to find one late at night. Never get in a taxi unless you ordered it and the driver already has the right name, unless it is from an authorised rank.
- Never take a lift unless you know the person. Offering a stranger a lift is a trick used for robbery and other crimes.
- Tell someone where you are and when you are heading home. If you can, get a loved one or a friend to pick you up.
- Stay the right side of sober if you are walking. Then walk on well-lit streets and if possible avoid the city centre flashpoints where the clubs and pubs empty.
- Your hotel room is ‘your’ room. Don’t invite anyone who isn’t a close friend back to your room. Keep your privacy and don’t let anyone have your room number or key.
- Watch your wallets, purses and pockets. Christmas parties in large venues such as hotels are a perfect environment for walk-through thieves, so separate your hotel key, car keys, identification, bank cards, and room key as much as possible. Coats draped over seats while the owner is dancing the night away are an easy target, for example.
We really want you all to have the very best Christmas, and taking a few simple precautions as well as staying the right side of the alcohol level, will make the festive season safer for you and others.