Ditch phone at office party

Sunday December 17 2017


By Dorcus Murungi

It is that time of the year when companies are holding office parties.
An office party is meant for members of the staff to socialise and enhance working relations.
According to Anne Kazungu, a Human Resource Manager at Brac Uganda, office parties are good for team building. “Through these office parties, employees can interact with bosses in a more relaxed way, which is important in a healthy working environment,” she says.
Office parties are also important platforms for employers to appreciate workers who have excelled in their performance.
However, some workers act in peculiar ways which send bad signals to the employers.
Below are some of the things to avoid at an office party.

Don’t drink too much
Nansereko says though office parties are meant for relaxation and enjoyment, workers always need to limit their alcohol intake.
“Alcohol lowers your reserves and alters your judgment. The last place you want to be while immodest and lacking good judgment is an event hosted by your boss and attended by him or her, and your colleagues. Your actions could cause you to become the subject of discussion at the workplace or worse, unemployed,” she says.
Nansereko adds that it is important not to lose sight of the fact that you are still at work.

“Even if the setting is different than the daily one, it is important that you keep coordinated actions. Your boss is watching. Your coworkers are too. Do not show a side of yourself that could be embarrassing or cause their opinion of you to change for the worse. For example, do not share too much personal information if you would not want it to be known in a professional setting,” she advises.

Don’t flirt or act in a sexually provocative manner
When at a work party, always act professionally and this includes not flirting with coworkers, even if it is entirely innocent.
The message it sends to your colleagues may be interpreted differently. Flirting or acting in a sexually provocative manner can make colleagues lose respect for you and can end with a claim of sexual harassment against you.

Don’t bring uninvited guests
Scovia Kamwebaze, a customer relations officer at Fenix International says some workers have a tendency of inviting other colleagues who are not necessarily part of the office party.
The party may be intended for employees only. Never assume it is okay to bring your other friends from other organisations without asking first. Showing up at an event with another person may annoy your boss and embarrass your guest if he or she feels unwanted,” says Kamwebaze.

Put your phone away
Although office parties are meant for socialising, some employees spend almost all their time toying with their phones.
“Put your phone away and try to focus on what is going on at the party. If you must check your phone occasionally, slip away to do so. However, keep your phone handy for taking pictures,” advises Kamwebaze.

Dress well
It is important to dress well during office parties.
“Party clothes are perfectly acceptable and probably even expected for the office party but you can toss aside your usual work attire and wear something festive. Sparkles, bright colours, and glitter are appropriate, but you should observe the same dress rules as you would for a typical work day. Don’t show too much skin or wear anything see-through or form-fitting,” she adds.