4 Reasons to Make Time for Team Happy Hours
Oh, the joys of an impromptu happy hour with your team after work. Half-priced wings, discounted beverages, and a chance to catch up with the only people who will understand the excruciating pain of your 3pm meeting where the presenter read every single word on the PowerPoint slide for a full hour. (It’s the worst.) If you’re already down for the occasional team happy hour, we don’t have to tell you how great they can be, but even if you’re someone who prefers to go straight home after work, you should consider joining next time.
1. It Builds Relationships
Sure, you spend eight hours a day with your team, but everyone acts a little different at work than they do once they’re off the clock. Spending time with the people you work with in a more relaxed, informal environment helps everyone let their guard down a bit and talk about things they wouldn’t usually bring up in a work-setting. It also enables you to connect with people who you may not get a chance to speak to day-to-day.
Happy hours are an opportunity to get to know each other in a different context and build relationships outside of deadlines and office politics. That, in turn, can strengthen your working relationship at the office. Funny how that happens, right?!
2. It Makes Communication Easier
Ok, hear us out on this one—as much as we love texting and emailing because it solves a lot of problems, it can also create problems, too. There is no accounting for tone in a text or email, and thus intention can get misread. It helps to understand the situation if you have a good read on who the communication is coming from—and it helps if you’ve spent some time outside of the office with them.
For instance, if you get an email that seems out of character from someone, if you don't know that person very well, it can be easy to misinterpret their meaning. Having a closer relationship that you’ve built through bonding at happy hours can help give you the confidence to address the miscommunication directly and efficiently without escalating to conflict. If there is a conflict, a deeper relationship with your coworker will also help you resolve it and move past it more easily because you better understand their point of view.
3. No FOMO
Just because you don’t go to a happy hour doesn’t mean your team won’t—and they can be a lot of fun. Inside jokes form and experiences are shared. You don’t want to miss out on that because the camaraderie and fun stuff that comes with it can bleed into office life too. If you have responsibilities that preclude you from joining in that’s one thing, but you should consider finding time to participate at least occasionally, so you don’t feel left out—the half-priced wings are worth it!
4. Time to Relax Before You Go Home
Sometimes it’s good to have a little buffer between your working and personal lives. A quick happy hour lets you shake off some of the stress and responsibility of the day and leave it behind so that you’re not still mulling over the events of the day (we’ve all been there) when you get home. Give yourself this buffer from time to time to see if it helps your mood both at home and at the office. We all need a little time to relax now and then.
So, there you have it, four reasons (there are many more) why team happy hour is a delight. We should note that while we’re always about half-priced apps (which we believe to be the defining trait of any happy hour special) happy hour does not necessarily mean that you must imbibe alcohol to participate. Sure, if it’s something you feel like you can do (responsibly) go for it, but it’s not a requirement for participation.
What do you think? Are you always down for a Happy Hour, or do you prefer another way to get to know the people from work? Let us know in the comments!