Ways to Observe St. Patrick’s Day if You Are Stuck in the Office

03/11/2017 08:12 am ET Updated Mar 12, 2017
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Typically known as a shamrock-loving, beer-sipping, green-wearing and pinching holiday, Saint Patrick’s Day is a global celebration recognized annually on March 17. St. Patrick’s Day is named after the patron saint Patricio, who was, in fact, British and not Irish.

Since its introduction to the New World in the 1700s by Irish immigrants, holiday celebrations around the world have expanded to include parades, fun runs, and marathons in major U.S. cities including major cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York City. U.S. Americans have even influenced the Irish culture on celebration styles since drinking was banned in Ireland until the 1970s.

Behind New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the top ten drunkest holidays with an estimated 13 million pints of Guinness consumed worldwide. This year St.Patrick’s day is on a Friday this year, so here are 3 career tips on ways to observe the holiday within the workplace:

1. Hold off on Green Alcohol Celebrations

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations may start as early midnight on March 17 and until closing time. There will be no hangover kit in the office on Friday, so avoid showing up reeking of alcohol from the night before. Plan accordingly if you are celebrating on Thursday or postpone until Friday.

If you do go out, keep track of the number of cold green beers consumed while celebrating with coworkers. Moderation is the key, so count your drinks, know your limit, and avoid inappropriate behavior. Knowing how to have a good time in the workplace with your colleagues and clients is key.

2. Dress Appropriately

Choose your attire carefully while you want to observe the holiday, so do not show up dressed as a leprechaun or offend your Irish-American co-workers. If you plan to wear green, avoid any suggestive shirt slogans. Wearing your Kiss Me I’m Irish shirt won’t leave a good impression with your leadership team or others in the office.

 Socks are the latest expression of individuality for men in U.S. culture, so try fun green styles or also try wearing green ties. Women can still maintain work professionalism while dressing in green, as well.

3.   Avoid Pinching Co-workers

As the tradition goes, if someone is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day they’ll get pinched by leprechauns. Resist that urge, unless you want to visit HR! Avoid disrespecting and harassing your colleagues by invading their personal space with a pinch.

These helpful career tips on how to celebrate this Irish holiday at work will encourage a respectful work environment with your colleagues. Start your spring early by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the office the right way!  

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

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