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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask the Boss

Q: What should you do if you made a fool of yourself at the office party?

Jonathan Tubb, chief financial officer/partner, Deloitte CIS:

First and foremost, don't do it. I think with behavior in and out of the workplace, you need to maintain your individual standards. I take it pretty seriously, but have fun -- it is a once-in-a-year event.

"Unacceptable behavior is swearing, vomiting, generally being aggressive, and harassing versus flirting. Harassing is just unprofessional. Very unprofessional. That's something I think is controllable in any circumstance.

"If you did drop your guard, drank too much and were aggressive toward a colleague, for instance, I think the worst thing you can do is do nothing. The thing to do is to speak to the offended party and apologize if appropriate. Be open and frank about what happened the previous evening. The right approach is not to call the person into a closed office. If it's open-plan, go over and apologize in front of his or her colleagues.

"The worst way of dealing with a previous situation is to try to carry on in the same way at another event. Don't assume the offended person feels the same way you do.

"Would this be the same in a factory environment where you're doing shift work, working 9 to 5, for instance? I wonder if it would be different because your social life is deemed completely separate from work. In the professional services industry, I believe it's important how you act both in and out of the workplace."

Darya Babanina, client services manager, Interactive Research Group:

The best way is to accept it and not to deny it, because it would look even more stupid if you're embarrassed by it, or have problems with it. Accept it, be proud of it. Try and use it to your advantage -- that you can have fun, you're not consumed with work, have interests and emotions outside your office box.

"In order not to have any problems after Christmas, you have to be one of many, you have to follow the general trend of a party. You either choose to be wild if everyone else is, or you choose to be 'boring' if everyone else is. If everyone is behaving wildly, you're just one of many, then you won't have any problems.

"Dancing -- I think yes. You shouldn't be the only one dancing if others aren't, but if the general mood is to dance, then yes."

Professor Yelena Zubkova, pro-rector, Moscow Business School:

I think the best thing to do is not to lose your reputation, and to take all precautions, all preventative measures, to preserve it.

"If it happens, it's necessary to show that it was an accident.

"You can lose your reputation in a second, but it can take a long time to repair it. It's the most precious of your possessions."