However, they rarely go without a hitch. Over the years, I’ve seen most things from brawls to people stealing booze from behind the bar (when it was already a free bar!).
So it’s worth remembering that any work related social gathering, including tickets to the Christmas party or events paid for by suppliers, contractors or customers, means that you are technically still at work when in attendance.
As an employee, it’s OK to relax and have fun, but remember that you are still at work, in effect.
As an employer you have a duty of care to employees at any work related event.
That said, if you’re clear up front about expectations then any misunderstandings can be pre-empted and avoided by:
- Outlining start and finish times for the event
- Issuing a statement about expected levels of behaviour and personal responsibility- print it on the tickets!
- Having a strategy in place to monitor behaviour at work events
- If anything does go wrong, make sure you conduct a full investigation before taking any disciplinary action- don’t jump to conclusions
If you would like assistance in creating a clear communication around expected behaviours at work events, or with managing the aftermath, then please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org