Grabbing happy hour drinks with coworkers can be enticing and sometimes serve as a way to break the ice with your colleagues, but it can also be a risky situation if you have one cocktail too many. A recent report from Alexandra Chang published in The Atlantic highlights some of the pros and cons of being a woman who drinks with her colleagues.
If you are always the one to turn down a glass of wine at the company party your colleagues may see you as uptight and put pressure on you to drink with them, but on the other hand if you imbibe one too many people may be quick to judge you as irresponsible.
A female friend of Changs describes what it is like to be the one that doesn’t drink with colleagues saying, “People have said things to me like, 'You don't go to things with us' because I don't go to every single happy hour. If I don't go out drinking with my co-workers, then I don't get to bond with them.” When the same friend made a point to attend a happy hour event she explains how the attitudes of one of her colleagues changed drastically. She says, “She did not ever talk to me, it was almost weird. Then I went out with them one night and we were drinking a lot and we went out to karaoke. Now she is one of my closer work colleagues and it's just because of that night. Before, I felt so uncomfortable asking her questions; I might even ask her and she wouldn't answer them. Now we have conversations, work-related and non-work-related.”
Though drinking with co-workers may foster a kind of bonding you just can’t get in an office setting, the nondrinkers can easily make up for it. Chang advises week-day lunches and coffee meet-ups as a good way to break the ice with colleagues. You can also attend the happy hour and sip on a soda so you don’t miss out on all the after-work bonding.
Do you have after-work drinks with the people you work with?
How has happy hour changed the way you get along with your colleagues?