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December 12, 2011

Monster Global Poll: ”Ever Done Something Regrettable at an Office Party?”

Drunk_rudolph_businessmanPoll Reveals That Approximately One in Ten People Have Engaged in Career-Damaging Behavior at an Office Celebration

A poll conducted by Monster shows that too much cheer can be dangerous at the office holiday party, as one person in ten admits to having either done something extremely regrettable and been fired because of it (four percent), or acted in a way that was somewhat regrettable and damaged their career/reputation (five percent). But nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all respondents say they have never done anything regrettable at an office party.

We asked site visitors, “Have you ever done something regrettable at an office party -- for example, consumed too much alcohol or spoken offensively to a colleague or superior?” and received 3,699 responses. Here are the United States results:

  • Extremely regrettable: I’ve been fired for office-party behaviour: 4 percent
  • Somewhat regrettable: I’ve damaged my career/reputation: 3 percent 
  • Mildly regrettable: I’ve been embarrassed for a few days: 10 percent
  • No regrets: I’ve misbehaved, but with no ill effects: 14 percent
  • I’ve never done anything regrettable at an office party: 69 percent

 

And here are the international results:

  • Extremely regrettable: I’ve been fired for office-party behaviour: 4 percent
  • Somewhat regrettable: I’ve damaged my career/reputation: 5 percent 
  • Mildly regrettable: I’ve been embarrassed for a few days: 14 percent
  • No regrets: I’ve misbehaved, but with no ill effects: 14 percent
  • I’ve never done anything regrettable at an office party: 63 percent

 

Overall, it seems as though Americans have fewer regrets, though the same number have been fired for office-party behavior: four percent. Among international respondents, U.K. residents appear most red in the face, with nine percent answering that they were extremely regretful about their behaviour at an office party; they were closely followed by respondents in Finland (seven percent) and the Netherlands (six percent).  At the other end of the spectrum, only two percent of French respondents admitted to being fired because of regrettable behaviour.

Meanwhile, 15 percent of all European respondents answered that they have done something mildly regrettable, causing embarrassment for a few days, followed by Canada (12 percent) and the United States (10 percent).  Further, nearly 14 percent of Europeans admitted to having misbehaved at an office party but felt no guilt and experienced no career repercussions, compared with 19 percent of respondents in Canada and 14 percent of respondents in the United States.

An overwhelming number of respondents in Italy (82 percent), France (80 percent), and Germany (75 percent) answered that they had never done anything regrettable at an office party.

“Workplace holiday parties are a great opportunity to build morale and camaraderie among work colleagues, but people should keep in mind that usual codes of professional conduct apply. It's a party, yes, but it's happening in a professional realm,” says Charles Purdy, Monster.com career expert. “I recommend that people attending workplace parties plan to limit alcohol intake, and that they look at the event as a chance to network and socialise with colleagues and managers that they don't otherwise have a lot of contact with. Look for opportunities to impress your peers -- not to distress them.”

For tips on how to behave at your office holiday party, read:

 

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Posted by Charles Purdy on December 12, 2011 at 01:30 PM in Networking | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

It may have been 25 or 26 years ago, I did something that might have cost me a job, but it didn't.

The scene was a Christmas Party (that's what it was called back then), and a young female staffer, who was obviously blotto, was being directed to a limo of male executive vice president. That I was the young woman's ride for the night (but not date), I knew her origianl intention (at least) was to go home at 1:00 AM.

The EVP told me not to be concerned, that he'd handle the matter. Seeing she was incoherent, I pulled her away, assuring him it was alright. He warned me by saying "You're making a big mistake."

I got her home, and her father blamed me for her being drunk. Go figure.

The next day, she thanked me repeatedly when other female co-workers told her what happend.

Two days later the same EVP toured our work area and glared at me when I bid him "good morning". He and I never spoke again for the remaining 2 years I worked there.

I knew when I took her by the arm that I may have been fired the next day, but it didn't bother me. On one hand I was 21, and the job market was different than it is today. But more importantly, it was the right thing to do.

Posted by: Charlie on the PA Tpk | Dec 12, 2011 1:55:37 PM

Kudos to you, Charlie. Your story doesn't fit in the immediate impression I had when first saw these statistics, but I hope that most of the respondents who were fired or damaged their reps acted like you!

Posted by: Zylun | Dec 12, 2011 6:06:52 PM

It's quite funny, every January I get around a dozen applicants seeking new positions due to the pre xmas work party antics.

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Posted by: Alison | Dec 26, 2011 11:22:06 AM

I think no 3 is perfect and correct reason, mildly regrettable: I’ve been embarrassed for a few days, because I am also face it.

Posted by: Submit Resume | Jan 8, 2012 8:22:10 AM

I love these type of surveys, with only 3700 people surveyed I don't think it's one which can be taken too seriously. Perhaps this is why some companies have looked to ban the office parties recently!

Posted by: IT Recruitment | Jan 30, 2012 6:18:36 AM

I do remember one regrettable office party, actually the first half of it :)) I and I also remember smiles and some laughing of colleagues the next day... But I don't even remember why!...:)

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