Tis The Season For Work Parties

Office Worker At PartyWork Parties, Social Media, and You

Work parties are fun and they allow people to get away from work and let their hair down a little.  But when it’s a party exclusively for people from your organisation, it might be wise to keep your wits about you more than if it were a party with your friends or family.  The combination of alcohol, camera phones, social media and people you know, but don’t really know, can be a dangerous mix.

Almost every person in the party will likely have a camera equipped smart phone and these phones can immortalise a scene on a social media site within seconds.  Imagine having your picture on Facebook or Twitter looking haggard with a drink (or two) in your hand.  Remember, social media can impact your employment situation both now and in the future, with nearly 40% of employers now checking social media as part of the hiring process.

Beyond having photographic evidence of you acting raucously, consider the people who are witnessing your behaviour.  Some may like you, some may not, some might currently be in a position to influence your career path, some might be in that position in the future, some could see you as an ally, while others might see you as competition.  What they do with this knowledge could be just as bad for you as a damning photograph.

So, before you head off to this year’s end of year gathering, it might be a good idea to read through the following tips:

  • Before going to the party, ensure you know what your mode of transportation will be going home.  If you’re driving, then a glass or two of alcohol should be your maximum
  • If you’re driving, consider not drinking at all.  People can form a negative impression of you if they see you drink throughout the event and then get behind the wheel
  • If you’re drinking and the party is only serving ‘nibbles’, try to eat a full meal before going.  Your mum was right, drinking on an empty stomach can intensify the effects of alcohol
  • Think about your mood before going to the party.  If you’re going dealing with any emotional issues, it might be a good idea to keep your drinking to a minimum
  • Remember alcohol will ‘loosen’ you up.  If you feel the urge to complain about work, a co-worker or your boss, zip your lip and grab a glass of water; this is not the time or the place
  • If you’re drinking, catch up with your boss or anyone of substantial influence earlier rather than later, when you’re sure to not be too ‘loose’ in your manner
  • And if you do chat with your boss, remember it’s probably best to avoid talking about a pay rise, engage in office gossip or talk about any contentious topics
  • It might be hard to orchestrate, but it might even be best to pose for pictures early on in the party too, to ensure you‘re looking your best when you’re immortalised
  • If you do get some shots with your camera, be sure to ask for your co-worker’s permission before tagging them on pictures or videos in social media
  • And finally if you take any photos yourself, don’t post any embarrassing pictures, videos, or comments from the party in your social media profile

Work parties are a great place for you to socialise with people you may not often see in this setting, but be sure you’re doing it responsibly.  If you think you can use alcohol as an excuse for your behaviour at the event, think again.  Using alcohol as an excuse for poor behaviour at a work function is simply not good enough.  You could end up being ostracised by your workmates, lose your job or even face legal issues as a result of not staying in control.

Feel free to dish the dirt on a work party disaster you’ve heard of.  Did it make Facebook, Twitter or an alternate site and what were the ramifications?  No naming names though people.


Leigh Grigaliunas

Leigh is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Leigh's passion for helping others coupled with his desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead him to create School Hours Pty Ltd with his wife Yasmin.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.

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