3 Keys to Survive Your Office Party

holiday party how-to-survive-office-party office party work culture work party Dec 03, 2023

Announcements of office parties are met with either go-for-it’s or groans.

The go-for-it’s are the ones who enjoyed last year’s party or just look forward to any social experience.

The groans are the persons who remember last year’s party with disdain or generally avoid socializing with their work mates. They wonder, “How do you do an office party on Zoom, anyway?”

Whether you go-for-it or groan, here are 3 Keys to Survive Your Office Party:


Groaners often sense a need to be more extroverted, or jovial, or something other than who they are whether in-person or virtual. They feel a game of square pegs and round holes coming.

Instead relax and be yourself. If you prefer to talk with just a few people in a deep conversation, do that. If you’re a social butterfly, then have at it.

Avoid the extra stress of acting outside of your “normal.” This stress can cause you to drink too much which leads to all kinds of behavior that becomes fodder for hallway conversations.

Relax. Enjoy being you.

Remind Yourself about What You Can Control

If you’re simply being you, then you have a pretty good sense about what you can and cannot control. Work within what you can control, not outside of it.

Avoid attempts at “perfect,” i.e., telling the perfect joke or, laughing too long at the boss’ joke because he’s not that funny really 😊. There are some things you can control about the office party, but there are more that you can’t. Do the best you can at controlling what you can.

For example, if the party has no ending time established, and your daughter’s dance recital or son’s band concert is the same evening, stay until it’s time for the commute. Give a courteous “thank you” to your leader— teammates if you’re the leader—and excuse yourself with the explanation.

You are the only mom or dad your child has. Control what you can.

Resolve to Enjoy

As with all things work culture, as you focus on the positive and filter out the negative, you set your mental attitude for an enjoyable evening. Of course you may choose to spend the rest of the year socializing with a different group of people. Of course, some of the people at the party get on your last nerve on a regular basis.

Yet, you can resolve to enjoy yourself before you arrive. Think about previous pleasant office party experiences. See those happening again. Focus on someone you know who will be present and what personality qualities they have that you enjoy.

You really do see what you look for.

Regardless of whether your attitude is “Let’s go for it!” or “Groan,” implement these 3 keys to survive your office party and enjoy the experience!

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