Why Going Out for Happy Hour with Co-Workers is a Good Idea

Just when you thought you've seen enough of your co-workers after a long and hard workweek, Derek from marketing invites you to join him and a group of office mates for a few post-work drinks at the sports bar down the street. Sure, a well-deserved glass of chardonnay or a pint of lager sounds like just what the doctor ordered (if your doctor moonlights as a bartender), but is going out socially, especially when alcohol is involved, a good idea?

Before you turn down Derek's invitation and you go home to binge watch something mindless while munching on leftover, hopefully still safe to eat Chinese food, consider going out for happy hour a good thing.

As Cheat Sheetrecommends, "Go! Don't limit your social options at the office just because you're not sure what the best protocol is. Even if you'd prefer to not drink (whether for personal, religious, or other reasons), there's nothing stopping you from getting a lime and tonic and fitting right in, alcohol or not."

As long as you don't get sloshed and do something regrettable, here's why happy hour with the work crew gets two thumbs up.

Get to Know One Another

Your office environment probably doesn't leave much room or time to get to know your co-workers on a personal level. Yes, you may pick up on others' unique personality traits and learn a smidge here and there about who likes which baseball team and the latest juice cleanse everyone's trying, but most talk revolves around work (or at least it ought to).

Happy hour gives you and your co-workers a chance to connect on a different level. As per Fast Company, "Part of the social glue that binds your work community together happens at these after-hours events. The shared experience creates inside jokes and group memories."

It's Good for Your Career

According to Forbes, "The casual atmosphere (of happy hour) will likely lead all attendees to get to know each other better, on a more personal level, which could actually help advance careers. Those who aren't in attendance could miss a discussion that leads to a big project involving those who were there."

Even if you only join the gang every once in a while, it's better than never going at all. You may be viewed as "not being a team player," as per Forbes. Although the setting is outside the office, all the same players are present with work still on their minds. Business talk is sure to come up and it's nice to be part of the conversation.

Fast Company suggests that developing relationships with colleagues can help you feel closer to the group leasing to improved overall job satisfaction.

Just remember, if you plan to knock back a drink or two, take public transportation or designate a driver. And if you go out during the workweek, limit your consumption, because that 5:30 AM alarm clock will be torture on your hangover.

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