Colleagues and Cocktails: The Do’s and Don’ts of a Work Happy Hour
February 15, 2023
After a long week at the office, what better way to unwind than attending a happy hour with your colleagues? Whether you’re celebrating a successful project or looking for an excuse to socialize, having drinks with your workmates is a great way to bond and get to know each other better.
There are certain etiquette rules you should follow when it comes to work happy hours. Let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts of after-work drinking before you attend a happy hour with co-workers so you can make the most of your next after-work gathering.
The Do’s and Don’ts of a Work Happy Hour
To go or not to go, that is the question. Attending a happy hour with co-workers has its advantages. But remember that there are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to having cocktails with your colleagues:
DO Make an Appearance
When your co-worker invites you for some after-work cocktails, do make an appearance. Show up, even if just for one drink. It’ll show your co-workers that you value camaraderie, teamwork and social engagement outside work. You’ll probably end up having fun and bonding with your teammates.
DO Mingle With Everyone
Forming connections with co-workers takes time. It can be challenging to get a sense of who your co-workers are while at work — particularly if you work in a fast-paced environment with little opportunity for interaction. Is there somebody at work you want to get to know better? Start a discussion by offering to buy them a minty mojito or a rich draft beer!
Mingle with as many of your co-workers as possible, including those you don’t generally get to talk to. You don’t have to stay with your work best friend the entire time. Be open to everyone and try to connect with people you haven’t talked to before. Connecting with one another is necessary if you want to be a part of a solid team you can rely on at work. Besides, getting to know someone is simpler when you’re not worried about submitting a report on time or trying to arrange a meeting.
DO Buy a Round
What goes around comes around! Buying a round makes you a workplace hero — especially if the hangout isn’t an office-sponsored event. Beer is nearly always a safe bet. However, a bar with various drink options like beer, wine, champagne, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks has something for everyone.
Maybe you can spice things up with drinks to energize the group, like an Excitabull with vodka, peach schnapps, Red Bull and cranberry juice. Or, try an espresso martini with vodka, cooled espresso, Kahlua and sugar. That’ll give you and your colleagues enough energy to get out on the dancefloor.
DO Loosen Up
Yes, you should maintain a professional demeanor while joining a happy hour with co-workers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t relax a little. You should be able to loosen up in the presence of your co-workers. It’s the end of the workday, and everyone wants to unwind. Allow them to see a side of you that they might not see at the workplace.
Make some jokes and get to know them a bit better. Make the experience more human! What better way to break the ice than with some karaoke? If you feel a bit shy, visit a place with private karaoke rooms.
DO Leave Early
Leaving the party early helps you avoid overindulgence and fatigue the next day at work. You can stay long enough to enjoy yourself, converse with your colleagues and have a drink or two — maybe three. However, keep in mind that leaving too soon might be detrimental — you want to stick around long enough to make an impression.
Try to keep the after-work drinking at about two to three hours. Any more than that and you might risk one of the “don’ts” below.
DON’T Just Talk About Work
Although you’re going out to have an after-work drink, try not to only talk about work. Leave the office conversation at the office. Avoid mentioning today’s management meeting, the company’s quarter four goals or the newest social media strategy. Allow your colleagues to unwind at the work happy hour and forget about the day.
Take advantage of your time away from the workplace to discuss the newest popular series, food recipes or hobbies. Create a fun and comfortable atmosphere.
Outside of work, it’s easy to get into comfortable chitchat with colleagues, especially after a few after-work cocktails. Be careful not to complain or gossip about fellow employees. Office gossip spreads quickly and can negatively affect work relationships and reputation.
Avoid making disparaging comments about others at any work function — or else your co-workers may begin to wonder what you say about them when they aren’t there. While others may talk, try redirecting the subject and never mention someone’s name in the wrong context.
DON’T Forget to Eat
When happy hour begins directly after work, dinner time might come and go while you’re still enjoying time at the bar. If you start drinking on an empty stomach, you may experience the effects of your cocktails more rapidly. Eating something during the outing is a good idea.
Always opt for a place with a bar and a restaurant — that way, you can get enough sustenance without leaving the work happy hour. A bar offering shareable dishes and boards is an excellent choice. Dig into delectable chicken wings or artisan harvest boards with numerous meats, cheeses and other snacks.
DON’T Drink Too Much
OK, so you remembered to eat, but that doesn’t mean you can go all out and drink too much. Pace yourself and be mindful of how much you drink. Avoid strong alcoholic beverages in favor of beer. A decent rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water per drink you order.
You want to avoid being known as the workplace gossip the next day. Don’t allow it to come to the point where you’ll start crossing lines. Even if you’re having a good time, remember that these are colleagues, not close-knit friends. Be sensible, pace yourself and call a cab if necessary.
DON’T Cross Lines
While you should loosen up and get to know your co-workers better, do not cross any boundaries or limits. A work-related group environment is not the greatest place to ponder your personal issues, use foul language or make anyone feel awkward.
Nobody should feel uncomfortable during a happy hour with co-workers. After all, you all have to see each other the next morning. Definitely have fun, but remain respectful of everyone at all times!
Eat, Drink and Sing at LALA St. Pete
Not sure where to go for your next after-work happy hour? LALA St. Pete is one of the newest bars to open in St. Petersburg. LALA is sure to become your go-to full-service bar in the region, with two stylish bar sections and extra attractions, such as a fine dining restaurant and seven private karaoke rooms.
Whether you’re unwinding with co-workers after work or meeting with friends for a high-end beverage on the weekend, LALA’s elegant bars set the tone. View our menus to see what food and drinks we have to get the excitement rolling.