The office Christmas party can be a uniquely dangerous event for the office worker.

A recent survey by The Creative Group has highlighted just how extreme some employees’ behavior can be.

In the survey of 750 phone interviews, advertising and marketing executives were asked to recall the most outrageous thing they have heard of an employee doing at a company event.

Here are a few lessons learned from their findings that might help you navigate these festive minefields without too negative an impact on your career prospects, or bringing abject humiliation upon yourself.

Don’t Leave With More Than You Brought

People have been known to bring Tupperware boxes to office parties in order to cheekily smuggle away spare food. Yes, we’re serious.

And while sneaking out leftovers is one thing, taking the opportunity to pillage the office of its supplies (this does also happen) is a great way to land yourself in a spot of trouble.

The opposite rule is also valid. It’s probably best if you don’t leave with fewer items than you came with – particularly with regards to items of clothing. Our advice would be to ensure that you leave with exactly the items you brought.

If you’re still worried, perhaps consider a checklist and/or some sort of inventory system?

It’s Not an Opportunity to Offer Feedback

The Christmas party is not an acceptable time to suggest how your company could be better run.

These ideas are best left for a controlled situation when you can prepare some helpful suggestions as to what the company could improve and articulate them clearly and effectively.

Leave feedback for when you haven’t been drinking tequila…everybody will benefit this way.

Don’t Go Overboard with Your Plus-Ones

Some employees have taken the ‘you may bring a guest’ rule a little too far.

Believe it or not, their survey revealed a list of unconventional guests, including whole families, cocker spaniels and even a python.

You don’t want to take advantage of your boss’ generosity. So it’s advisable you keep your plus-ones down to a single loved one, and try to make sure they’re human. That’s just more acceptable.

If All Else Fails, Remember it Could Be Worse

If you do wake up the day after with a terrible hangover, a red face, and deep regrets, you could still consider yourself lucky.

After all, you probably didn’t drive a golf cart into a river. Or ride a Ferris wheel in the nude. Both of which were reported to have happened at office Christmas parties before!

However, if your actions rivalled these, then I’m afraid you may be beyond help. Career change, anyone?

Avoid Propositioning Anyone

The survey did reveal that it’s not all chaos and destruction, however.

One worker reported that two of his colleagues got engaged at a Christmas party.

A word of caution though; unless you are involved in a long-term committed relationship with a colleague, please don’t propose to them. It won’t go down well.

About the Author: Peter Ames wishes you happy holidays on behalf of Office Genie, a UK marketplace for desk and office space.

Image courtesy of Aussiegall

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