While happy hours are not for everyone, most people enjoy them. You can unwind with your co-workers, make new friends, and get drunk on cheap beer. What could be better? While they can be a lot of fun, there are also some things you should try not to do at an office happy hour. This goes for both newbies and veterans alike.
How Should You Behave at an Office Happy Hour?
Happy hour is an excellent opportunity to get to know your co-workers. However, it can also lead to embarrassing situations if you’re not careful. Hence, you must behave appropriately at the office happy hour party. Here are some tips that can help:
- Don’t get too drunk: You don’t want to do anything embarrassing or regretful while under the influence. It’s good to have a few drinks, but stay moderate so that you don’t say something you’ll regret later.
- Be friendly and approachable: The point of happy hour is to get to know each other better, so make sure you’re friends with everyone in attendance.
- Ask questions: The easiest way to make new friends at happy hour is by asking questions like “Where are you from?” or “What made you decide to work here?” These questions will help people open up and share their stories.
Things You Should Avoid Doing
Office happy hours are a great way to bond with co-workers and strengthen the company culture. Research shows that when newcomers to an organization socialize with their co-workers, the new employees tend to feel more comfortable at work, which can lead to improved productivity and team performance.
In fact, companies should plan an office happy hour at least once per quarter. They are a great way to let your hair down and have a little fun with your co-workers. But if you’ve never been to one or only been to one or two, there are some things you should avoid.
Complaining About Work
So you’re working on some of the most exciting projects and building relationships with some of the best people. You’re also probably thinking about how much you hate your job, your boss, and the company they work for. Or maybe you just have some grievances with a colleague or two at work.
Whatever feelings or concerns you have about work, keep it to yourself for now. While conveying your problems to a colleague or senior management is extremely important, an office happy hour is not the right place to do so.
The purpose of happy hour is to allow employees to relax and have some fun while forgetting their busy work life. Hence, bringing up complaints about work will simply make the party boring. You should try to focus on having fun during the party and let the complaints wait until the right time arrives.
Talking About Politics
There are certain topics of conversation that you should avoid at all costs during a happy hour. Here are some examples:
- Politics, or anything else that’s political. – Talking about politics can be very divisive, and if this is the first time you’ve met your co-workers, it’s probably best to keep things light and friendly to get to know each other better. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 59% of Americans said political conversations with those they disagree with are stressful and frustrating.
- Religion or sex – You never know where people stand on these issues, especially in today’s society, so it’s best to steer clear of them altogether.
- Money, finances, budgeting, etc. – Unless it’s something that directly affects your life or job, try to avoid conversations about money. For example, saying, “I’m saving up for a new car,” is good for striking up a conversation. But if you want to give general tips on how to save money, it’s best to avoid such conversations.
Staying for Only a Little While
If you are busy with something, It’s tempting to leave the office happy hour party early. However, leaving the party after a short time can have many consequences. For instance, it will be awkward and make everyone else feel bad because they’re having fun while you’re not.
On the other hand, you will also miss out on all the networking opportunities that come with office happy hour by leaving early. Moreover, this will reduce your chances of socializing with colleagues during and after the party.
Events at the party can be excellent points to start a conversation in the right way later in the office. If you don’t know what happened at the party because you left early, you might be unable to participate in such exciting and mood-refreshing talks.
Getting Too Drunk
First, you should not include drinks during office happy hours. However, if you allow drinks, ensure that no one consumes many of them. If your employees are going to drink alcohol at work, it’s essential to keep things under control.
Getting too drunk can lead to bad decisions and embarrassing moments. You might end up saying something you don’t mean or not being able to work the next day because of a hangover. You may also be tempted by co-workers just looking for an excuse to do something inappropriate at work, so stick with people you trust.
If employees drink too much, it can also impact the employers. Data shows that alcoholism in the workplace can reduce productivity, increase absenteeism, and also increase healthcare costs.
Overeating Cheesy Bar Food
When you’re at an office happy hour, it can be hard to resist the temptation of bar food. But remember, overeating can give you a stomachache, and no one wants that.
The best way to avoid this is to eat something light before you go out, like a small salad or some veggies with hummus. Then, if you still want something more substantial once you hit the bar, get the smallest thing on the menu. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the night. It will help keep your stomach from getting upset.
Office happy hours are an opportunity to network, socialize and have fun with co-workers. But if you’re not careful, they can also be a huge source of stress or embarrassment. Remember these tips for behaving at an office happy hour so that everyone has a good time without any regrets.