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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Should I Attend The Workplace Christmas Party? Reasons For & Against

By Waiching

Christmas is not far off, as I type this, and at work comes the (dreaded) workplace Christmas party. Back in the days, I used to shun things like this thinking this wouldn't be for me, especially as I am an introvert and that I don't consider myself to be a very sociable person in general. I love music but I never went out clubbing, and I think I went to a high school dance in my teens, but I don't remember much about it. 

Anyhow, staff Christmas parties are a way for the company to say thanks and in acknowledging the employees' efforts over the past year.

Yet last year in December, I attended my first ever staff Xmas party for Costco, and like I mentioned, I have never attended things like this before. Before I said yes, I didn't anticipate that it would turn out to be a lot of fun, but it was; alas, I really had a whale of a time. It also encouraged me to open up and become more confident in a social setting. We laughed, we had a lot of fun, we danced, there was a lot of booze. The music they played was mostly Hip Hop and R&B, there was food served and it was held in a tiny venue that was just around the corner from the Costco warehouse. I also came fifth or something in the raffle, which came out of the blue (and I was a little chuffed). And I am also looking forward to my invite to attending the one held next month as well, but also in building on from the positives of last year's invite to this year's and become more open and communicative in my efforts.

The annual workplace party, particularly at Costco, is an annual tradition; rarely are traditional -and dare I mention cringey Christmas classics played out, but in its place are, like I mentioned, contemporary hip hop, R&B, with some pop thrown in, making pacts and chatting and mingling with your colleagues, of whom some aren't afraid to make a spectacle of themselves and enjoying themselves in the process. They shelve their serious work personas and with that, I get to see more lax versions of these people and being and coming across as informal just makes the whole occasion a far more enjoyable experience.

But alas, there are some who will choose to shun these types of functions for whatever reason, and these I will highlight and go into a bit.

Reasons For Skipping The Workplace Party:

  • For these individuals, they may have underlying issues and perhaps valid reasons for avoiding the party - be it religious, that they don't celebrate Christmas as it is a Christian tradition (although it has become far less religious over the last 20 or so years), or that they don't want anything else to do with the company but work

  • Introverts - I am an introvert but I am still going out of my way to go to this thing, but for many others with deep social anxiety issues, sharing the spotlight with their fellow colleagues and coworkers can be a daunting and overwhelming feeling 

  • They do not get on well with some their colleagues - the idea of spending some time with people they don't see eye- to- eye with at work but at a less formal setting, still fills him/her with dread, rather than joy. They respect them on a professional level more so than on a personal level, - and with workplace parties being an informal setting, they aren't so keen on getting along with that colleague (s). For me, I just put aside whatever work-related issues I might have with him/her and get along and to have a good time with them at the party

  • They need to rest and after a hard day's work, they are too tired If your shift ends very late in the evening, then you may feel weary afterwards to be attending the party. & if you have a shift the next day, getting public transport to get home is tricky unless the company or whoever Ubers a taxi 

  • When the firm charges people to cough up for the expenses - preferably, they should take it out of our wages 

  • The choice of venue is one that won't please everyone 

Reasons For Going To The Workplace Party:

  • To go and have fun and to have a jolly good time without the burden of stress, workplace drama and pressures of work - because that is what it is all about, right?

  • It's an opportunity for you to put yourself out there and open yourself up by engaging and connecting with others, as well as show off your dance moves - but that doesn't mean spilling and disclosing your personal life, nor gossip about other coworkers 

  • You get to mingle, hang out with and get to know the people you work with - especially your current and former workmates of your department and other colleagues you never get the chance to talk to in your organisation and to find out a little more about them, as well as for him/her to learn and know more about you as a person, but in a more casual setting that is also fun and enjoyable 

  • To try out the food they are serving

  • By attending, it feels almost like you are giving something back in exchange to the company and to your colleagues who are in attendance

  • There is plenty of booze - for those who drink alcohol that is 

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