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Miss Office Manners: Holiday Office Etiquette

by Mary Isner / November 22, 2023

The holidays are yet again upon us. In offices, the holidays typically come with time off from work to celebrate with family and friends, employees taking extended time off due to “use it or lose it” PTO policies, and, not to be forgotten, the work holiday party.

In this installment of Miss Office Manners, I offer my top 10 office etiquette tips for the holidays, gathered from my blogs over the years. Happy reading and happy holidays!

  1. If you are taking time off, wrap up as much of your work as possible before heading out the door. This is pretty self-explanatory, but many people start to check out mentally before officially clocking out for the year. This can cause work to pile up at the beginning of the new year. Stay focused to get as much work done as possible before you head out for the year. If you need to put in an extra hour or so to tie up loose ends, this may be in your best interest as it will likely result in a more reasonable workload when you return after the holidays. Your boss will be appreciative, too!

  2. Give others plenty of advance notice of your PTO. Let those you work closely with know that you will be taking time off. People are often so heads down in their own work that they don’t stop to think in advance about others’ schedules. Make sure you provide enough time to coordinate work or to answer any questions as needed. This will also help you enjoy your time off without interruptions.

  3. Set an away message detailing the length of your PTO. If possible, direct people to a coworker who can help when you’re out of the office.

  4. Consider being a teetotaler at the office holiday party. Or, if you choose to drink, practice moderation. You do not want to have the “Did I really say that to my boss?!” feeling the next day.

  5. Dress appropriately. While a holiday party is a festive atmosphere, it is still a work function and you should dress professionally. You can add some fun holiday touches, but your outfit should still be appropriate for a work function.

  6. Show up on time for the party. Even if you prefer to show up “fashionably late” for social events, this is a work function, and you should be punctual.

  7. Don’t pig out! If a buffet is served, don’t overfill your plate, and for goodness sake, don’t eat all the shrimp cocktail!

  8. Keep the conversation light. Be friendly and avoid shop talk during the party. No one wants to be seated next to a wet blanket!

  9. Don’t forget to say thank you. On your way out, thank the host or hostess of the holiday function and anyone who covered the bill. And last but not least…

  10. Take this time to rest and relax with family and friends so that you can start off the new year refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to be productive!

I hope you have found this week’s tips both helpful and enjoyable. Here’s wishing everyone a productive and healthy work environment. Be safe and well, everyone!

Tags: Office Manners

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Mary Isner

Mary Isner

Mary has a master’s degree in public administration and has worked as a facility planning analyst for Fentress since 2003. In her free time, she enjoys baking, decorating, and spending time with her family.