Happy hour is often times a planned event between coworkers – you know, you’ve all had a long week in the office and want to blow off some steam. Even though you may be able to cut up and have fun with your coworkers, you have to remember that happy hour with coworkers is just an informal extension of the workplace… with drinking involved. We’ve compiled a list of some important happy hour etiquette to remember when you are taking advantage of happy hour specials with coworkers.
1. Not everyone who attends has to drink. Some people may make the decision to skip drinking, and that’s totally okay. Many people choose to opt out for one reason or another – they have kids to put to bed when they get home, they want to be able to safely drive home, or maybe they simply just don’t want to. Whatever the reason may be, it’s not your place to force them to partake in the specials.
2. If you do choose to drink, set a drink limit for yourself. No one wants to be the talk of the office the next day or following week because they got too out of control during happy hour. Even though you are offsite at an unofficial work event, your actions can still come back to haunt you.
3. This isn’t an opportunity to gossip. An extension of point #2. Rumors and gossip can spread pretty quick, especially when people are free spirited and drinking. It’s best to save the venting about the person you dislike in the Finance department or talking about Debbie’s marital issues, for a non-work related friend… or better yet, just bury it down deep and keep it to yourself.
4. Don’t wear branded work apparel. You are an ambassador for the company you work for, and the last thing you want to do is associate a bunch of drunken, loud post-work banter with your employer. If you are required to wear a branded polo, t-shirt, or sweater to work, be sure to bring an outfit to change into before you head out for drinks.
5. Don’t flirt with a coworker. This outing is still business, so don’t do anything you’d regret doing within the confines of your office space. Many employer agreements even contain a “no fraternizing” policy which requires employees to keep their relationships strictly platonic.
6. Talk to someone new. Happy hours offer a time for you to get to know someone in a more relaxed environment. Try to branch out and chat with someone in another department or that you don’t get to interact with on a daily basis. Not only is it great networking, but it also allows you to build a stronger rapport among your peers.
We’re not saying that you can’t enjoy yourself and have fun with your coworkers, but just be mindful of your actions and their implications. A two-drink limit and some great conversation may be all you need to relax and have a good time. Our doors are always open at Easy Monkey and ready to greet you and your coworkers with the best happy hour specials around!