Do’s And Don’ts Around The Office During The Holidays

December 11, 2017  |  
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It’s that glorious time of the year when the holidays slowly begin to take hold at offices around the nation. While you’ll notice a lot of co-workers going missing in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years, you’ll also see the addition of a whole lot of holiday cheer. From in-office decorations to the ambient sound of Mariah Carey’s Christmas record, you are entering a solid month and a half stretch of wall-to-wall holiday goodness. But with all the fun and cheer, there are definitely some do’s and don’ts when it comes to navigating this time of the year around the office and among co-workers. Let us help you.

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Be Mindful of Time Off

As much as you may want to stake your claim on all the holiday time off, we implore you to be mindful of your coworkers. Everyone wants to spend this time of the year with loved ones and it’s only right that you try to share as much as possible. While your manager should be leading the charge in ensuring that everyone gets adequate time off for the holidays, take it upon yourself to chat with your peers about their plans so you can all divvy up the holidays fairly and without anyone ending up shouldering the burden on their own.

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Gift Down, Not Up

This is always a tricky one, but if there is one general rule it’s this: “Gift Down, Not Up.” If you have an assistant or a younger employee who ladders up to you, then you should definitely aim to get them a small token to thank them for all their hard work during the past year. But when it comes to those you report to, bypass the gift entirely. Not only is it a little unconventional and unnecessary, but you also run the risk of coming off like a kiss-ass among coworkers and management.

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Cards Are For Everyone

OK, now we love a passive-aggressive action every now and again. There’s something about throwing a little bit of subtle shade that makes a smirk dance across our face. But dolling out the holiday greeting cards is not the time for such shade. When it comes to passing out cards, it’s an all or nothing kind of action: Either you send some holiday greetings in everyone’s direction or you don’t even bother. But don’t use such a small action to fire a shady shot in someone’s direction.

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Consider A Group Gift

One idea that we absolutely love during the holiday season in the office is the group gift. Whether ordering everyone pizza for lunch or bringing in some delicious doughnuts, we think it’s a great idea to spread some holiday cheer with a gift that everyone can enjoy. And let’s be honest, it’s always nice when you can enjoy the gift as well.

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Be Conscious Of People’s Holiday Preferences

The holidays aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people are Christian, some are Jewish, some don’t celebrate religious or commercial holidays. So while it’s important to have fun during the holiday season, be sure that your respectful of others.

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Go To The Holiday Party

Regardless of where you work, more than likely you’ll have some sort of end-of-year, holiday celebration. It’s a time when you can cut loose and take a couple swigs to a job well done over the last 12 months. But more than likely, you aren’t exactly enamored with every one of your co-workers. There’s got to be at least a few people who really get under your skin and who you’d rather not spend your precious free time with. But with that said, it’s still a good look to go to your office holiday party. Even if you just pop in to show face, it’ll make a good impression on your bosses throwing the get-together and will make you seem like you’re trying to be an active and engaged member of your office.

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Behave At The Holiday Party

And while showing up is half the battle, the other half … well, it’s behaving yourself. An open bar and some sauced co-workers could be a recipe for some professional embarrassment, so while we want you to have a good time remember that it’s also important to make sure you don’t get too lit

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Keep Your Expectations In Check

With the holidays comes the hope of Christmas bonuses. Years and years ago, holiday bonuses were commonplace, something that was never explicitly promised, but certainly something you could count on. But times have changed. With so many industries struggling and offices continuing to downsize as much as possible, we strongly suggest not getting your hopes too far up for that little something extra on your paycheck. Most importantly, don’t count on that bonus to pay for holiday expenses. Assume the worst (nothing, nada, zero dinero) and then be pleasantly if you do get something.

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Squeeze In Holiday Happy Hour With Your Work BFFs

Though it’s important to make the requisite appearances at the larger office holiday gatherings, we also suggest trying to find a little time to hang with the co-workers that you actually enjoy being around the most. Though December can prove exceptionally tricky in scheduling outings around time off, familial commitments and holiday shopping, see if you can squeeze in a few hours to knock back a few and enjoy the company of the co-workers who make the office just a little bit brighter for you.

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Enjoy The Downtime

Depending on what industry you’re in, the holidays could mean a proliferation of work or it could mean some much needed downtime. If you’re fortunate enough to fall in the latter camp, then one of our biggest pieces of advice would be to enjoy this brief break. Once everyone comes back from their holiday vacations, they’ll be raring to go and ready to hit the ground running to make 2018 a success. But before Q1 hits, you might as well enjoy some quiet days in the office and catch up on a little Netflix when your boss isn’t watching.

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