4 Rules for Drinking with Your Co-Workers

Written By Andrew Slade

There’s no better season than the summer to slip out of work at 5 and head to the nearest happy hour with your coworkers. Outings like these, even with your boss, can build camaraderie and allow you to get to know your professional peers past all of the projects and assignments. Some studies suggest that drinking with coworkers – even a lot – can help you move up the professional ladder… although we think moderation is your best bet. So here’s four tips for mastering the after-work trip to the watering hole.

1. Make an appearance!

Don’t limit your social options at the workplace to just the office. Even if you would prefer not to drink, there’s nothing stopping you from sipping on a tonic and lime. The casual atmosphere is likely to foster better relationships, both personal and professional. Plus, you might miss out on a discussion that leads to a big project for those who were there!

2. “When in Rome” does not apply.

While it is suggested that drinking with coworkers can lead to many positives, this is no time to show off what you learned in college. If your coworkers are going drink for drink, play it cool and stick to your glass, because there is likely to be at least one sober person present; so for their sake, try to keep yourself in check. We want you to enjoy yourself, but suggest using the mantra “have one less” and not treat the outing as your chance to let loose, especially if your superiors are present.

3. Don’t discuss your problems.

No matter how loud your neighbors are at 2am or how badly your cubicle mate smells, happy hours are not meant to turn into complaining sessions. Save your problems – whether personal or professional –for another time and don’t earn yourself the wrong reputation. As cold as it might sound, you didn’t come to hear about others’ problems and others didn't slip away from work to hear about yours.

4. If you’re past your limit, abort!

Know your normal drinking limit ahead of time… and stay far away from it. But if you sense you’re feeling a little top-heavy, get up and leave. Like, right away. The beautiful thing about happy hours is that there will always be another one. And while it might be fun to close down the bar with your friends in Marketing, it’s not worth making a fool of yourself. If you need an excuse, just say you have to call your buddy or feed your dog. You’ll always have another chance to see your coworkers out of the office!