To Go or Not to Go
Please do not even consider not going to the party unless you have a very genuine reason for it. If you don't go to the party, you might severely hamper your image. An office party is an opportunity for developing new friendships at the workplace, and every such opportunity should be grabbed with both hands.
Generally, office parties are immediately after work hours, so you will have little time to get all dressed up. You have to look relaxed and professional, yet neat and pulled together. Business casual attire is best suited for such a situation.
Basically, wear business casual attire to your office parties. But if your office party has a theme, then choose an attire that is in accordance with the office party theme idea.
Normally, it is expected that you do come alone to an office party. Read the office party invitation wordings carefully. If it is specifically mentioned that you can bring a date, only then think of bringing the date. Else, treat this as a formal occasion and proceed accordingly.
Always stick to safe topics of conversation, especially when you are speaking with a colleague for the first time. Do not get involved in debates as it might ruin the ambiance of the party. An office party can be an opportunity to have a healthy and meaningful conversation with your colleagues, so do not waste it.
Try to mingle with as many people as possible. Get to know other people in your office. Share your experience with other people and try to grasp their point of view as well. If you are not a mingling sort of person, then try to befriend a guy who is sitting in a corner and not talking to anyone. Chances are that he will have the same point of view as you.
The Hugs and Kisses
An office party can be an excellent place to tell a co-worker that you like him/her. But, sexual harassment laws do apply to office parties as well. You can be a little bit cheesy, but do avoid all the naughty stuff. This is for your own good.
Caution to the wind must be thrown over here. Do not try too hard to make an impression or you will end up making a negative impression. Try to meet those superiors whom you haven't had a chance to talk to, but take care that you don't monopolies the time with your boss. Let others also have some conversation time with him.
When You Leave
Leaving early will only make it too apparent that you are bored at the party. Stay for an appropriate amount of time. When you do decide to leave, thank your host for the delicious food, amazing environment, and how great the office party games for adults were. Try to be as graceful as possible when you are leaving the party.
Office parties are a great way to relax with your workplace buddies and bond with your superiors as well. But these parties do require some etiquette, and they have to be followed to make a good impression.