Holiday office parties as we know them are dying

ParamountExpect something tamer.
  • In the wake of sexual harassment scandals, a new survey finds that fewer companies are planning to host holiday parties.
  • The ones that are celebrating are planning to serve less alcohol.
  • Besides drinking too much, other office-party faux pas include dressing inappropriately and badmouthing colleagues.

If you’re planning to attend your company’s holiday party this year, expect something slightly tamer than you’ve seen in years past.

In the wake of sexual harassment scandals in a range of industries, companies are wary of doing anything that might contribute to the problem. The Associated Press reports that slightly fewer organisations are hosting holiday parties – and the organisations that are hosting parties plan to serve less alcohol.

That’s according to a survey led by consulting company Challenger, Grey, and Christmas. The survey found that 80% of companies plan to host holiday parties this year, which is about the same as last year. But 11% will not host a holiday party this year after organising them in the past, up from 4% in 2016.

What’s more, about 49% of organisations will serve alcohol this year, down from nearly 62% in 2016.

“As soon as you introduce alcohol at an off-site activity, peoples’ guards are dropped,’ Ed Yost, manager of employee relations and development for the Society for Human Resource Management based in Alexandria, Virginia, told the Associated Press.

Barbara Pachter, an etiquette expert and the author of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette,” told Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett that getting drunk at an office holiday party is a big no-no. She recommended setting a limit for yourself before the party starts, and sticking to it.

Other holiday-party faux pas, according to Pachter, include dressing inappropriately, gossiping about colleagues, and posting photos or comments that could get you in trouble.

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