Holiday office party season is in full swing and, following a decline during the recession years, many companies are back to hosting festivities again.

Fairmont Winnipeg Director of Sales Vishal Sagar said he has booked dozens of parties this year, ranging in size from 50 to more than 900 people.

Sagar said one of the first decisions companies make when planning events is whether to provide an open bar, drink vouchers or a cash bar.

According to Sagar, different companies have different reasons for making that decision.

Tara Crawford is director of etiquette for a Winnipeg company called Civility Experts Worldwide.

She said regardless of how alcohol is provided at an office party, people need to remember they are still at a work function.

Crawford warns against over-indulging and potentially creating an embarrassing situation.

She also advised people to be wary of the fact that spouses of colleagues may be present and they need to keep that in mind when interacting with co-workers.

Crawford said excessive office party flirting can create awkwardness in the workplace.

And it's not just employees that need to heed the warnings.

Crawford said a boss who drinks too much and doesn't behave themselves can quickly lose the respect of people working under them and that can be difficult to regain.

Ultimately, in order to avoid problems, everyone attending an office party just needs to exercise a little common sense, she said.

And if you do slip up and become the lead character in an office party horror story, be prepared to make sincere apologies at the first opportunity when back at work.