Attending your first Canadian workplace holiday party?
Check out these tips to make sure you have a good time.
December is the month when most Canadian workplaces will organize a holiday party or year-end party as an opportunity for the company to show appreciation for the team’s achievements throughout the year. For the past two years, the office holiday party went virtual. But this year, in-person office holiday parties are back. These tips might be useful if this is your first time joining a Canadian workplace holiday party. Especially if you have been working remotely from home and it is your first time seeing your colleagues in person.
1. Attend the workplace holiday event even if you don’t celebrate Christmas
As in many western countries, Christmas is considered one of the biggest holidays in Canada, and every workplace will have a holiday party in December, big or small. Canadian workplaces can be very diverse, and not everyone celebrates Christmas. Although you don’t celebrate Christmas, attending the holiday party is recommended because it’s an excellent opportunity to get to know your coworker and socialize with other people outside your team member.
2. Food and Refreshments
Some workplaces will have enough budget to hire a catering service or book a restaurant. While in other workplaces, the organizer will ask each staff to bring one type of food for the event; this is called Potluck. If your workplace organizes a Potluck holiday party, the organizer will assign everyone to bring a specific food or drink item. It can be an excellent chance to introduce your cultural food to your colleagues.
3. Maintain respectful behavior with your colleagues
Some workplaces will provide alcohol during the party. And if you consume alcohol, it’s best to track how much you drink. You don’t want to get drunk and do something you regret, especially if clients and business partners attend the event. Don’t talk negatively about other coworkers or complain to your boss about the company. You are still in the working environment, so you must act responsibly. Keep the discussion light, cheerful, and positive.
4. Check the invitation detail
At our centre, the holiday party invitation is always sent out by email. It could be the same at your workplace, or they might send a formal invitation card. If the invitation includes an RSVP card, please respond to it even though you won’t be able to attend the party. It will help the organizer to decide how much food or space they will need for the event. If you are attending, check if you can bring a guest, are kids allowed to the event, or is it an employee-only event? Another detail you should be aware of is the dress code to ensure you are not underdressed or overdressed.
5. Enjoy the event
The most important part is to have a great time during the event. Introduce yourself if you are new to the company, catch up with your coworkers, and enjoy the food and the activities. If the holiday party is held outside your regular working hour, before you leave, don’t forget to say goodbye to your colleagues or manager. If you know the staff who organized the event, you can also thank them to show your appreciation and that you had a good time.