When you’re hosting an event of any scale, from a dinner party or birthday party to a wedding, you may be wondering what protocol is for inviting your coworkers and even your boss. As you go through your guest list and contemplate whether or not to invite people you work with, there are some general considerations and etiquette rules to keep in mind.
The following are some tips to help you as you decide if you should invite coworkers to a personal event, and if so, how to do it.
If You’re the Boss
First, if you’re the boss or in a leadership position of any kind and you’re contemplating having your subordinates at your party, it’s important to go with the all or none approach. You don’t want to jeopardize how your employees see you or make it appear that you’re showing favoritism.
At the same time, if you’re the boss you also want to make it clear that people aren’t required to come, nor will they be penalized or treated differently if they don’t.
If you are inviting people from work to a party and you’re not having everyone, you might want to use invitation templates, print them and mail them to their homes rather than sending them out in an email.
The reason is that people are more likely to share the email invitation around the office which could bring it to the attention of the people who weren’t invited. The same goes for Facebook invitations.
Sending out a classic printed invitation can separate the work and personal life boundaries a bit more than an emailed invitation.
If you are only inviting a few people from work rather than the whole office, you might want to mention to everyone that you’re trying to keep it small so that they understand not everyone is coming.
Inviting the Boss
While if you’re having a wedding or even just a party to celebrate a special event, you may be wondering if you should invite your boss.
More often than not, it’s probably going to be a no. You want to enjoy your special event, whatever it’s celebrating and you may feel like you can’t do that if your boss is watching every move you make.
If you’re having a dinner party at your home that will be a relatively subdued environment, however, you might consider inviting your boss because it will give you an opportunity to get to know that person. Just be cautious regardless of the situation, because if your boss ends up coming, it can change the entire tone of the event.
As a final note, if you’re on the fence about inviting colleagues to an event, think about your workplace culture.
This is the best guide you can have as to whether or not it’s appropriate. If you work in a small, casual office where everyone regularly goes out to lunch, you probably want to invite them. If on the other hand, you work in a place where the culture is very formal and professional, it may be best to skip the invites altogether.