The Workplace Holiday Party: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I go the Company Christmas Holiday PartyYou know it’s coming. You see the flier in the break room, you get the email, or maybe you find the announcement in your paycheck. Either way, the workplace holiday party is quickly approaching. For some employees, that internal struggle builds inside while stressed with the same question that plagues them every year – “Do I want to go or not?”

It’s a good question. Different organizations have different expectations on attendance, participation, and etiquette at a holiday party. Depending on how personal you are with your co-workers, the holiday party could feel like one of the most awkward two hours of your life trapped inside a room.

If you have to ask yourself this question, you may not want to go. If you’ve been with a company for several years, you may know what is acceptable; but if you’re new to the job, expectations may not be so apparent. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether or not to attend the workplace holiday party.

Your Employer is Saying “Thank You”
Your managers, leaders, and executives know you work hard, but they can’t always express that gratitude in more ways than just saying, “Great job, and thank you.” For many employers, this is their big chance to let employees know how much they appreciate them. If you have a company holiday get-together, feel fortunate. According to the Huffington Post, only 44% of senior managers said that their company was planning an office holiday party this year.

Now is Your Chance!
So you think your co-workers are boring, annoying, or just unpleasant? Is the company party a drag? Change it! They won’t get any more fun if you avoid them. Maybe all you have to do is make your own fun. Still, keep in mind your company culture and workplace etiquette, but these types of events are only as much fun as you put into them.

This also might be a chance for you to develop or learn new skills. Consider asking your HR department about who plans and organizes the holiday party and volunteer your time if possible. If you can plan and prepare a holiday party that you would want to attend, you and your co-workers are much more likely to come. It can also give you a chance to demonstrate your involvement and passion to leadership and senior executives, which could lead to future career opportunities.
 
Real Life Has Real Responsibilities
We all have personal lives outside of work, with some of us having family responsibilities. While some employers see their workers as a family, they may fail to remember that employees all have duties and obligations after closing time. Remember what is important to you, and keep them first on your list of priorities. They might conflict with the company holiday gathering or they might not. Just be true to what means the most to you.

Having a good, fair, and balanced judgment will help you make the decision to attend or skip the office holiday festivities. There’s a lot to consider, but it should be more than just not feeling like it. Don’t forget to tell us your favorite workplace party moments in the comments section below.

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