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It's Friday and while there may be deadlines due, most of your co-workers are thinking about Happy Hour. Whether it's the bar down the street, the pub across town or the handful of beers in the break room, colleagues have been knocking back a few since the Industrial Age.
While some may view this as purely social and a way to blow off steam after a long week, there are some benefits to consuming libations with your office mates:
1. Creativity: In other words, sometimes a couple drinks are just what you need to get creative about a plan, project or problem. Grab a round of cold ones and brainstorm, you may be surprised by the outcome.
2. Bonding: You know Karen, the straight-laced Accountant who sits near the printer? At Happy Hour you find out she is an excellent karaoke singer and she decorates cakes on the weekend. She grew up 3 miles from your house and like you, she enjoys a nice dry martini. Next time you grab something off the printer, you say hi and ask her to join you and Todd for lunch. Two weeks later, she assists you on a presentation and you get a promotion. BOOM! Thank you Happy Hour.
Happy Hour is a great way for co-workers to get to know each other better. This can foster positive office relations and a better understanding of each others strengths, weaknesses, role and work style.
3. Networking: The odds are, if your office is out and about for some after-hours fun, so is the office next door. This is a great chance to mingle and network, make connections with the community and other local businesses. Your next partnership or sale could be waiting at the bar.
These are all worthy outcomes , but definitely keep these things in mind when you plan your next company cocktail meet:
Encourage moderation. Happy Hour is meant to be a cheap, quick gathering before the dinner hour. Limit it to an hour and 1-2 drinks.
Encourage a designated driver, Uber or Lyft. Just in case. While you want your crew to have fun and let loose, you don't want anyone getting in trouble, no matter how much they have had to drink.
Test it out. Put a Happy Hour on the calendar next week- cheers!