The Power of Happy Hour: Going From Work to Play (Guest Blog)

Closed deals and increasing sales may drive revenue, but a harmonious company culture is essential for business prosperity. Great company culture can be built outside the conference rooms and office walls; actually, it can be built at the bar. Five o’clock happy hour is more than just an excuse for co-workers to booze it up and munch on appetizers. This post-work company function (and ahem, networking event) helps cultivate an engaged, compatible team. A happy hour connects employees and leaders on a different level, some of whom don’t typically interact on a 9-to-5 basis. Reply “yes” to the happy hour invitation and approach the work-social scene as an opportunity to connect with your co-workers, be seen as a team player and most importantly, have a good time.

Make the Commitment

Employees usually spend more than 40 hours of the week at work. Factor in the commute, and going out with co-workers is probably last on the list of things someone wants to do after 5 p.m. on a weekday. Alas, try to work the happy hour bigstock-Happy-Businessman-11445590around your schedule and make it a point to go, if only for a short while. Happy hour is a nice break in your weekly routine and can even help you avoid driving home during rush hour.

Plus, showing up is important. It shows you’re engaged in your workplace and interested in your co-workers—even if you go for just 20 minutes. Commit to happy hour like you commit to your job, and put yourself out there. You may actually surprise yourself with your great time (and new work bestie).

Your Happy Hour Style

The first rule for transitioning from a long and stressful work day to a fun work happy hour is to have a timeless, high-quality handbag. A sophisticated satchel in a beautiful color or eye-catching pattern pulls together any look and goes from day to night with ease. As for the outfit, throw on a classic blazer to keep your pencil skirt and free-flowing blouse work-friendly. Then when it comes time for a cocktail, swap out flats for chic heels, accessorize with a bauble necklace and undo your bun.

Gentlemen, look polished with a well-fitting pair of chinos, slick dress loafers and collared button-up. Once you’ve ordered a Moscow Mule, roll up your sleeves for a cocktail-appropriate look.

After-Hours Etiquette

Unlike Vegas, what happens at happy hour doesn’t stay at happy hour. What you say and do will most certainly follow you back into the office. Drinks with co-workers isn’t like wine with the girls or beer with your buddies. You want to strengthen work relationships, not destroy them. Stay away from starting or engaging in office gossip or over-sharing. In other words, drink moderately to avoid sobbing about your recent breakup or detailing your wicked hangover from the wild weekend. Whether you choose to drink or not, maintain a professional demeanor. Smile and use conversation with other employees as valuable face time. You’ll carry your positive impression right back into the workplace.

Guest blog courtesy SocialMonsters.Org

 

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