When it comes to year-end office parties, many would say they’ve seen it all. In a new survey from The Creative Group, advertising and marketing executives were asked to recount the wackiest or most outrageous thing they have heard of an employee doing at a company event, such as a holiday party or outing. Here are some of their responses:
• “An employee threw his coworker in a lagoon!”
• “A person rode naked on a Ferris wheel.”
• “Someone drove a golf cart into a river. He jumped out before the cart went into the water.”
• “We caught an employee going through everyone’s desk while we were partying.”
The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 750 telephone interviews -- approximately 575 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 175 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees -- in the United States and Canada.
Some professionals viewed company events as an excuse to dress up -- or should we say, play dress up:
• “An employee dressed up as a wrestler.”
• “All the bosses wore boxer briefs.”
• “Someone sported all red at a black and white affair.”
For these employees, adopting a “more the merrier” mindset probably wasn’t wise:
• “One coworker brought all of his relatives to the office picnic.”
• “An employee brought a cocker spaniel to a work event -- and the dog relieved himself by the refreshments.”
• “Someone came to the party accompanied by his pet python.”
These individuals apparently wanted to take a piece of the company celebration home:
• “One coworker came to a Christmas party with a bag of Tupperware so she could pack up all the leftovers.”
• “A person left an event wearing someone else’s shoes.”
• “Someone took eyeglasses that did not belong to him.”
• “An employee was caught loading his car with food from the holiday party.”
Others were more preoccupied with breaking things than breaking bread:
• “An employee shattered a glass table.”
• “There was a holiday picnic where two coworkers decided it was the perfect time to hash out their differences with an all-out fist fight.”
• “An employee broke his leg climbing a wall.”
• “Someone fell out of a loft and landed hard on a cobblestone floor.”
• “My coworkers were competing on the dance floor to see who could do the best moves. It turned into a fight and they both were let go for inappropriate behavior.”
Fortunately, things don’t fall apart at all company events; sometimes, they come together as evidenced by this last response:
• “A couple got engaged.”
“Company events are for getting to know coworkers better and having fun, but employees should keep their behavior in check,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “As with any social interaction with your boss and colleagues, it’s important to display professional etiquette, even outside of office walls.”
The Creative Group offers five tips for putting your best foot forward at company parties:
1. Consider your ‘plus one’ carefully. When a celebration is for employees only, it’s a definite faux pas to bring a date. Also, if your significant other is a wild card at parties, it’s probably best to go solo.
2. Ditch the Santa suit. It’s OK to be festive, but don’t wear anything too outrageous or revealing. Find out what the dress code is and keep to it.
3. Stick to your limit. If alcohol is served, drink in moderation and don’t pressure others who choose to abstain.
4. Avoid sharing TMI. It’s natural to let your guard down during casual get-togethers, but there’s no reason to start divulging secrets. Keep the conversation upbeat and avoid cringe-worthy topics.
5. Don’t play paparazzi. It’s fun to take photos at group events, but refrain from posting embarrassing pictures of your coworkers on social media. If you want to share photos, be sure to get permission from your work team first.
About The Creative Group
The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at www.creativegroup.com. Gain insights into the latest hiring and salary trends in the creative and marketing fields at www.creativegroup.com/salarycenter .