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Who doesn’t like a good Happy Hour after a long day at the office? It’s a wonderful chance to unwind, bond with coworkers, suck up to the boss, and drink on a Tuesday without feeling guilty. But it can understandably lead to a few sticky situations, as do all instances that mix alcohol and coworkers. To ensure that your innocent after hours mixer doesn’t devolve into an all-out bar brawl, make sure to follow these simple guidelines when partying with the office:
Eat Before You Go
Since Happy Hours take place late in the afternoon or early evening before dinner, chances are you’re going to be running on empty this far out from lunch. So make sure to eat a snack at the office or grab something on the way to the bar so that you aren’t drinking on an empty stomach. No one wants to be the coworker who blows Happy Hour all over the bar or gets plastered after one drink.
While it may be tempting to show off your drinking skills to the office or go head-to-head with Rob from Accounts Payable on shots, try to contain your enthusiasm and pace yourself. Happy Hour is not a contest, and if you make it out to be one, you may find yourself the loser when it comes to your job.
Don’t Set the Tone for Gossip
It’s no fun waking up the morning after Happy Hour and cringing at something you said about a fellow employee who you’re going to be seeing in an hour. So avoid this situation altogether by sticking to lighthearted topics at the bar. That means not engaging in even well-intentioned gossip while you’re still lucid, because this will inevitably transform into career-damaging slander a few more drinks in.
Treat the Bar Like the Office
While the whole point of Happy Hour is to get away from the office, take a page from the rulebook on office etiquette at the bar. Happy Hour with your coworkers isn’t the same as a night of debauchery with your closest buddies. Sure, you can still have fun; but bear in mind that your most important relationship with these people is your professional relationship, and that you should act accordingly.
Select a Designated Driver
To ensure that you arrive back at work safe and sound the next morning, nominate someone as a designated driver. This is a great option for someone who wants to tag along but doesn’t want to feel the pressure to drink. This person can also help mediate any rowdy coworkers or stop them in their tracks before they do any damage to their careers.
Happy Hours are a fun pastime meant to take away some of the stress from the daily grind. So don’t do yourself a disservice by adding more stress to your day from acting like a fool around your office mates. Just do a little planning ahead, act sensibly, and the rest will follow.
The Doostang Team advises you to drink responsibly… and have a great day!