Yes it nearing the end of the year. We are entering party season - a great time to unwind, rub shoulders with workmates etc. This can be a fun time! But end of year parties have a very serious side as many of these antics lead to "regrets" after. Recent research in Australia found that 70% of people believed that hitting the booze led to a more "personal" feeling amongst staff. Nearly a quarter of females interviewed admitted that their boss had made a pass at them at an office party.
Such behaviours can present many problems for businesses, particularly if the "antics" involved lead to a complaint from a member of staff regarding the behaviour of another.
It would be easy to say "no office party" or "its too risky", but sometimes the advantages of holding the party far outweigh the negatives. The decision to have or not have one is one for the business alone.
I would recommend a level headed approach to this years Xmas party - making sure the party is well planned and your staff are aware of the required behaviours before hand. This way you can have the fun while managing the risk!