A guide to the Danish Christmas staff party (julefrokost)

It’s Christmas party time, and sooner or later, it will also come to your organisation.

For many Danes, the company julefrokost is the party of the year. After a busy autumn, staff and management take a well-deserved break to say thanks for the past year with some Danish hygge and great food.

So what’s the Danish company julefrokost all about? Are there any dos and don’ts? 

Here is our mini-guide to a fun Christmas party with your colleagues:  

  • Alcohol: 
    The Danes have a reputation for enjoying a few drinks, and there is generally plenty of alcohol at company Christmas parties in Denmark. But this doesn’t mean that you have to drink if you don’t want to. You probably won’t be the only sober person there, although it may feel that way at Danish parties.

  • The social tone:
    Danish workplaces generally have a free and congenial social tone, and at the Christmas party, people tend to be even more jovial and informal. However, as in all parts of life´(both before and after #metoo) it is important to treat each other with respect. This is also true at the Danish Christmas party, where your company’s code of conduct for appropriate behaviour and how you treat your colleagues still applies.

  • Your boss:
    Many managers also attend the Christmas party. And of course you can have fun partying with your boss, but don’t take it as an opportunity to complain about management’s new strategy, your irritating colleague or your pay. It is better to wait with those types of conversations until you are both ‘on the clock’ again.

  • On duty or off duty?
    If the Christmas party takes place outside ordinary working hours, you are free to choose whether to join in or go home. If you attend the Christmas party, you will not receive overtime pay or time off as compensation. If the Christmas party takes place during working hours, you are generally expected to attend. If you do not wish to attend, and it is all right with your boss, you can just stay on duty and continue working instead.

  • Try it:
    The Danish Christmas staff party can be a good opportunity to talk with your immediate colleagues about things that aren’t work related. It is also a chance to get to know your colleagues from other departments a little better. In this way, the annual julefrokost can be a fun and informal way to expand your professional network.