Survey: You’re going to have some holiday party regrets this year (but you’d also regret not going)

It’s that time of year again. The season for annual workplace holiday parties. It turns out that these festive get-togethers are fraught with peril for many people – and their career prospects.

The combination of free-flowing booze, often without a full meal, leads to many people letting a little too loose and behaving in ways they later regret.

According to a survey of 2,000 workers by Four Loko, just over a quarter of people (26 per cent) have done something they regret at a work party. The top regrets were hooking up with a co-worker, saying something rude, and sharing office gossip. That top regret is happening surprisingly often: 41 per cent of workers say they have a co-worker who has hooked up at a company party.

A separate study by OnePoll (reported in the New York Post) found that the average person hears seven new pieces of gossip about their coworkers at the holiday party.

If you’re not at your best, there’s going to be a record of the fact: workers will typically have to pose or take part in an average of six different group photos at the party.

Similar to the Four Loko findings, the OnePoll survey shows that hooking up is rampant. Thirty-seven per cent of their participants have witnessed an amorous encounter at a holiday party.

Four common experiences from the office party:

    Coworkers get it on: 37 percent
    Long speech from the boss: 40 percent
    Office secrets, drama revealed: 41 percent
    Drunken coworkers: 57 percent

They really should know better, but according to the Four Loko survey, it’s people who work in Human Resources who are most likely to find themselves in the passionate embrace of a colleague at the workplace holiday celebration.

You’ll also regret not going to the party at all. Companies spend time and money planning and putting on the celebration to bring the staff together and toast the year’s successes. Not showing up makes you seem unappreciative and can give the impression that you don’t care about being a part of the team. You would also be missing out on a valuable opportunity to network with people outside of those in your own department.

Attend the party. Thank your boss, compliment whoever did the planning and coordinating, and mingle with people you don’t speak to every day. Just be sure to watch your alcohol intake – especially on an empty stomach – don’t blow off steam, rant, share juicy gossip, or hook up with a colleague.

The work party is more work than a party. Keep it professional. You don’t want to end up in the boss’ office on Monday morning explaining those photocopies of your butt in the copy room.

You know who is going to end up the naughty list? John and Sarah. They’re troublemakers. The survey also revealed the names of those coworkers most likely to be involved with an office party scandal. Mike and Jessica are big trouble too.

Images courtesy of Four Loko. View their complete infographic.

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