- Demeanor– Your work environment might be formal and buttoned-up. Don’t plan to abandon this completely, but these parties are meant to help you relax and learn about your co-workers. Be yourself and have fun (as long as that’s appropriate).
- Attendance– Off-site events don’t always have specified end-times. This is not an invitation to party all night or leave too early. Take cues from your co-workers or ask how long they will be staying. Someone worked hard for your sake, so don’t offend your host or appear disinterested in your co-workers by leaving sooner than an hour into the party.
- Attire– Invitations will usually specify the level of formality required. Otherwise, you can speak with veteran co-workers. Still confused? Remember a tie and jacket can be removed, not added. Business casual is difficult to criticize.
- Conversation– In a larger company, you might see unfamiliar faces. Be prepared to explain what you do, but avoid excessive work talk. These events are meant to connect with your team on a personal level. Safe and suggested topics include holiday plans and traditions, your favorite gift, childhood memories, and even pop culture subjects (such as movies, books, or music).
- Consumption– Food and alcohol are common at work parties. Plan consumption accordingly, and aim for moderation. If you choose to forego food or drink, don’t judge others for choosing differently.
These suggestions will not apply to all companies or occasions. If you have any questions or concerns, ask human resources or your direct supervisor. They might even answer questions you wouldn’t think to ask.