As employees across the country head back to work during the COVID-19 pandemic and restaurants and bars open up, so too does the opportunity to socialize with your co-workers outside of work hours. However, although socializing can be a great for your career, there can also be pitfalls if you aren’t careful. Here are the good and the bad that come with socializing outside of work.
Good: Your Get to Know Each Other
It’s hard to get to know who someone really is if you’re working on an assembly line, typing in separate cubicles, or stocking store shelve. It’s much easier to chat about life and its infinite mysteries over a burger and fries. Socializing with co-workers outside of work gives you an opportunity to be seen as an individual, by both your peers and your boss. People want to work with people they know and like, and showing a bit of your true self can help with that.
Bad: You Get to Know Each Other
Yeah, this one is on here twice. Its great to get to know your co-workers, but if something out of control and unexpected happens during happy hour, it could be difficult to get everyone to see you as professional again. Remember, even though this is a social event, you still need to be a little bit professional. Your co-workers don’t need to know everything about you, just enough to know what you’re like as a normal person.
Good: Learn More About the Company
When folks aren’t at the workplace, they let their guard down a bit. They’re more likely to talk about the history of the company and recent happenings in an informal way. Chatting about work over lunch can teach you a lot about how the company works and what’s currently happening on other teams and in other departments.
Bad: Gossip is Bad
But there’s a downside to folks letting their guard down. It’s easy to feel safe and comfortable when you’re chatting outside of work. However, if you find the topic of conversation turning to boss bashing or how Gertrude never meets deadlines, it might be time to leave. Even if everyone is complaining about the same thing, you don’t want to be seen as a negative person.
Good: Getting Work Done Outside of Work
Sometimes all it takes to solve a difficult problem is a change of location. Meeting up in a low stress environment is a great way to brainstorm ideas to fix problems or plan upcoming projects. You want to be there for those high-level discussions.
Socializing outside of work comes with its own share of benefits and disadvantages, but so long as you stay away from oversharing and practice proper safety precautions, you’re sure to see success.
Have you ever socialized outside of work? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below.