Socialising Outside the Workplace
We’ve all heard the old adage, ‘don’t mix business with pleasure’, but you may get labelled as anti-social if you don’t socialise with your colleagues and clients. Socialising outside of the workplace can be positive and fun. It could also be a good career move as not only will it help to build relationships; it may even open unexpected doors for you. But there is a protocol, so read our top tips to make the right impression at your work social events.
DON’T TALK SHOP
Not everyone wants to talk about work when they are out of the office, even though it might be tempting as you are in a more relaxed environment. Try to keep work-related topics in the office. Keep the conversation light, discuss hobbies, family or holidays, unless it’s your boss who instigates it and then, of course, you will have to talk shop.
Dreading going back to work on Monday is not how you want to feel after a work social, so keep your drinking in check. Only you will know what your body can cope with, so be sensible. A top tip is to interchange soft drinks with the alcoholic ones.
Try to avoid controversial issues like politics and religion until you really get to know your work colleagues and clients. And even when you are comfortable with them, don’t assume that everyone is happy talking about these issues. So always establish the mood of the room before sharing your opinions on contentious current affairs!
MIX and MINGLE
Be inclusive and show everyone that you’re a team player, don’t just hang out with the popular or senior team members, always include those that are junior. Whether you’re in a more junior role and keen to demonstrate that you are comfortable socialising at all levels or the boss proving you can engage with everyone, always mingle as much as you can.
DON’T RUSH IT
Take your time getting to know your co-workers, don’t force it. Try to keep a professional distance until your relationship starts to feel natural. There will be plenty of time to become best mates!
Socialising with colleagues relaxes some of the barriers that exist in the office, but it’s worth respecting the hierarchy of the workplace, both senior and junior. For example, don’t ask your boss to buy you a drink and equally don’t expect a colleague in a junior role to act as the waiter/waitress.
BE TRUE TO ‘YOU’ WHEN SOCIALISING OUTSIDE THE WORKPLACE
Work socials are an opportunity for your workmates to get to know the real you, so don’t pretend to be something you’re not just to fit in, always be true to yourself and people will like you for who you really are.