*Updated blog post in August 2019*
For a lot of us nine to fivers, after work drinks are just another part of employment. Whether it’s team building or therapeutic trash talk, post-labour libations are a great way to take the edge off.
But like any good thing, booze is best imbibed in moderation. “What happens in blank stays in blank” is not an applicable proverb when going out for a couple of drinks with your coworkers. While you may not have to worry about any HR infractions, the opinion that you’re a functioning and decent human being is almost equally important amongst your peers.
This shouldn’t be too tough to comprehend, but still: here are the do’s and don’ts of drinking with those you work with.
The Do’s and Don’ts of After Work Drinks
Do: Loosen up
Now is not the time to be a stiff. While talking shop should not be frowned upon, this is really your opportunity to show the team your true colours. Take off the tie and untuck that shirt: you’re here to get away from work, not to engage in some unpaid overtime.
Don’t: Feel pressured
We want you to have a good time, but if you’re not into it, don’t feel like you need to partake. Drinking isn’t for everyone, and socializing, well, that’s not necessarily for everyone either. So whether you make it to the bar or not – just be yourself, and not the person you think you need to be.
Do: Buy a round
What goes around comes around – and by buying a round, you’ll make sure you’re a real in-office hero. Beer is almost always a safe bet, but if you really want to step it up a notch, a tray of shots never hurt anyone either.
Don’t: Try to impress your peers
A complicated cocktail doesn’t make a quality one. An overpriced menu isn’t always better than what’s affordable. The barstools you have at home don’t make you a master of mixology. Don’t worry about what you’re ordering. A beer and a bourbon say as much or more about you than the $20 dessert wine you hoped would get a reaction.
Do: Pace yourself
Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall was never about drinking quickly. Actually, now that I think about it it, I’m not entirely sure what the point was. Anyways, keep it casual, drink lots of water and order some snacks for the table if you’re planning on having more than one or two drinks.
Don’t: Turn it into a contest
Frank the Tank needs to stay at home, and all that frat boy behaviour, yeah, you should have outgrown that by now. There’s a time and a place for a good game of quarters, but there’s no gold medal at the bottom end of a glass. We’re not asking you to nurse it, just to keep in mind that he or she who drinks the most usually ends up the loser.
Do: Have fun
We’re here for a good time, not a long time. So have a good time: the sun can’t shine every day. But also, having fun doesn’t ever mean at any one else’s expense. Always be mindful, aware and respectful of everyone around you and those you work with.
Don’t: Burn the candle at both ends
There isn’t anything worse than realizing it’s a weeknight. Staying up late and getting up early is no easy task, and your work will most certainly suffer. Don’t let the booze get the better of you, you’ll pay for it dearly in the morning.
Do: Use public transit
Ride a bus. Walk. Call a cab. All are available options almost anywhere you go. Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you have to make big ones. Your friends, family and team will all thank you later when you get home safe.
We won’t sugarcoat it. Don’t be an idiot. You’re smarter than that, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be researching workplace etiquette.
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