Careers Advice

The workplace Christmas guide

The countdown to Christmas has begun and the workplace is starting to feel festive. As the office starts to wind down for the Christmas break, make sure you stay on top of your game. One of the ScotGrad programme managers Cameron Scott talks about the dos and don’ts of the Christmas period at work.

Published: 20/12/2016


Join in! The festive period is a great time for you to join in and get to know your colleagues better. Whether it’s the office party, Christmas Jumper Day or Secret Santa, make sure to participate and have fun.

Use this festive time as an opportunity to get to know your boss and colleagues better.  But keep your conversation light and interesting, it’s Christmas and no one wants to discuss politics in too much detail. Ask about their family or plans for Christmas and New Year instead

Mingle. ​There isn’t a better opportunity to socialise with colleagues that you don’t normally get an opportunity to speak with. Everyone is in high spirits, so starting up a conversation with that person you’ve been on a “hi/bye” basis with until now shouldn’t be much of a challenge

Stay away with office gossip. Once everyone’s had a glass of bubbly or two, conversations may get a little bit “after hours”, but avoid it at all costs, it will never end well. Avoid using the Christmas party as an opportunity to ask for a promotion. Your boss is there to mingle with everyone and enjoy themselves too, so beware of crossing the line.

Don’t Rudolph for Christmas Competition 2016

Be unprofessional. Keep your Secret Santa present above board, a little humour is okay but anything rude or offensive will not be appropriate. Not sure what to wear? Check the dress code and stick to it. A little festive cheer is welcomed but remember to dress appropriately.

Don’t drink too much! You may be faced with free food and drink, so be merry, but don’t go overboard. Your boss will be watching. 

Post or tweet anything which might come back to haunt you. Pictures of you and/or your colleagues might seem funny at the time, but could see you called into HR on Monday morning.

Don’t call in sick the morning after! Everyone saw you trying to start a dance-off with Fiona from finance at 1am and knows you’ve not suddenly got a 24-hour bug.

It’s mostly common sense. As with networking, if you wouldn’t want your boss to hear about it, it’s probably best to avoid it. Ultimately, the festive period is a time to have fun, so keep your wits about you and enjoy!