The holidays are a busy—and often stressful—time. All the merriment can get a little exhausting. It’s tempting to look for places to trim our holiday commitments and the office holiday party might seem like an obvious choice. I’d like to suggest that to do so would be a mistake.
One of the ways that an office functions is through healthy relationships between colleagues. Choosing to attend the office holiday party and frequent the monthly happy hour are ways that you invest in the relationships that help you and your organization succeed. It doesn’t mean that your work associates need to be your best friends. It does mean that you should value your relationships with them and treat them accordingly.
If attending the holiday party still seems a little daunting, we have two tips to make it more approachable and enjoyable:
If you’re feeling spread thin this holiday season, attending the office party doesn’t have to entail a huge time commitment. Go for a couple hours. Joining the fun doesn’t mean you have to be the last one there. It just means showing up and being fully present.
Set a goal for yourself. Think about how to get the most out of the evening. Maybe you want to talk to a coworker you haven’t connected with recently. Perhaps you want to try to express your appreciation to each member of your team. Set a clear goal and engage with the evening.