What are the guidelines for an office party? This year we’ve been told employees are not getting a year-end bonus because repairs have to be made to the building. However, we suspect that some people are secretly getting bonuses. To improve morale the company is hosting a holiday party with a buffet dinner and open-bar in an Italian restaurant, which is several steps up from our usual holiday party.
Honestly, most of us would rather have the cash than the party. In the past the office party was only for employees. Would it be bad etiquette to ask if we can invite our spouse, or partner, since this is a night out rather than a BYO — consisting of a couple of glasses of warm plonk wine or beer and cold, greasy pigs-in-the-blanket held in the main conference room?
What you need to keep in mind is that before the year-end bonus there were only rowdy holiday office parties where it was sporting to sweet talk a secretary into a wet kiss while the ‘male room boy’ puked in the men’s room.
Then the office party plus the year-end bonus, which caused jealousies, became the norm. Now both are too much, everybody’s pulling back and simplifying.
Since the wheels are already in place for the holiday office party, you don’t want to mess with that. Nonetheless, there are three beneficial things you can do.
- Early next fall organize a couple of your coworkers to lobby for a year-end bonus instead of a party for next December — even if the bonus isn’t as hefty as in the past.
- In the meantime, you can definitely ask if the dinner invitation for this year is for you and your spouse/partner, because it is a night out away from your partner. Look at it this way, if the boss were inviting you for dinner at his house, your partner would be included in the invitation.
- Lastly, since you’re not receiving a bonus this year, why not request a year-end performance review; if the review is good or better, ask for a raise.
3 simple office party guidelines everybody knows:
Don’t get drunk.
Don’t say embarrassing things to your boss’s partner.
Don’t get caught kissing in the utilities closet.
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