TUC urges caution for employees ‘emboldened with festive cheer’

More than one in 10 workers who have attended a work Christmas party admit embarrassing themselves in front of their boss and colleagues, a survey has revealed.
The poll of more than a thousand workers, carried out by YouGov for the TUC, also found that 9 per cent of workers has thrown up, while 8 per cent of employees had revealed something embarrassing about themselves to a colleague.

Perhaps most surprisingly, unless you’ve actually witnessed it, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of 18 to 24 year-olds have had a dance off with a co-worker, compared to only 8 per cent of workers aged 25 to 39, 4 per cent aged 40 to 49 and 3 per cent who are 60 and over.

Less surprisingly, 40 per cent of employees have got drunk at their work festive bash, with men (45 per cent) more likely to over-indulge than women (35 per cent).

The findings were revealed as the TUC publishes tips to help ensure this year’s work Christmas party sends everyone off for the holidays in good cheer.

The TUC said that for many employees the Christmas party is a chance to relax and reflect on the past 12 months. But every year trade union reps receive reports of problems that occurred during festivities that could have been avoided.

Here are the TUC’s top tips to ensure that this year’s frivolities are remembered for the right reasons.

For employers:
·    If you’re going to charge staff to come to the party, make sure it’s something all staff can afford, and don’t make people feel bad if they don’t want to come
·    Ensure plenty of non-alcoholic drinks are available for people who don’t drink or don’t want to drink
·    Discourage managers from discussing staff performance or other serious HR issues
·    Advise people to check travel arrangements so that everyone gets home safely. If possible, consider offering transport home or provide the times of the last train and phone numbers for reputable cab firms

For staff:
·    Resist the temptation to complain about colleagues or ask your boss for a pay rise
·    Be careful not to say or do anything which upsets or insults anyone if you are emboldened with ‘Christmas cheer’
·    Resist posting embarrassing pictures of your boss or colleagues on social media
·    Think about booking a day off after the party if you think you may be too tired to work

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, commented: “Christmas parties are a great way to celebrate a year’s hard work and let your hair down with colleagues.
“However, workers and bosses need to remember that they are still in a work setting. No one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of colleagues – or worse, do something that will get them sacked at Christmas. Use your common sense and have a happy and safe night.”