Tips for Hosting Office Parties
- Be honest with employees. Make sure your employees
know your workplace substance abuse policy and that the policy
addresses the use of alcoholic beverages in any work-related situation
and office social function.
- Post the policy. Use every communication vehicle
to make sure your employees know the policy. Prior to an office
party, use break room bulletin boards, office e-mail and paycheck
envelopes to communicate your policy and concerns.
- Reinvent the office party concept. Why have
the typical office party? Try something new like an indoor carnival,
group outing to an amusement park or volunteer activity with a
- Make sure employees know when to say when.
If you do serve alcohol at an office event, make sure all employees
know that they are welcome to attend and have a good time, but
that they are expected to act responsibly.
- Make it the office party of choice. Make sure
there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.
- Eat...and be merry! Avoid serving lots of
salty, greasy or sweet foods which tend to make people thirsty.
Serve foods rich in starch and protein which stay in the stomach
longer and slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.
- Designate party managers. Remind managers
that even at the office party, they may need to implement the
company's alcohol and substance abuse policy.
- Arrange alternative transportation. Anticipate
the need for alternative transportation for all party goers and
make special transportation arrangements in advance of the party.
Encourage all employees to make use of the alternative transportation
if they consume any alcohol.
- Serve none for the road. Stop serving alcohol
before the party officially ends.
If alcoholic beverages are provided at office social functions,
state laws regarding their use and resulting legal responsibilities
should be consulted and addressed. This information is not intended
to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon
to determine what steps employers can or should take to address
potential legal liability.
These tips for hosting office parties are provided by the U.S.
Department of Labor.