Attending a work social event is a great opportunity to connect with your colleagues and build positive relationships in a more relaxed setting. However, it’s important to remember that you are still with your work colleagues and, while you should have fun and get to know people on a personal level, you will need to face them on Monday morning. So, here are some tips on how to make the most of a work social:
Remember who you are with: While social events may have a more casual atmosphere, it's important to maintain a level of professionalism while having fun. Remember that you're still representing your workplace and not hanging out with your university mates.
Dress appropriately: Dress appropriately for the event, considering the venue and the company culture. If you're unsure about the dress code, ask a member of your team or start an office conversation about it, this is a great way to chat with more people on a personal level. If at a loss, always remember it's better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Engage in conversation: Be approachable and initiate conversations with your colleagues. Show interest in their work, hobbies, and personal lives. Avoid controversial topics like politics or religion and focus on finding common ground and fostering positive connections that aren’t just about your work.
Listen actively: Pay attention to what others are saying and engage in active listening. Show genuine interest and ask follow-up questions. Avoid dominating conversations or interrupting others.
Be mindful of alcohol consumption: If alcohol is being served, drink responsibly and be mindful of your limits. It’s important to read the room and make sure you are keeping at the same level as everyone else. Overindulging can lead to inappropriate behaviour and can negatively impact your reputation.
Avoid office gossip: While it might be tempting to discuss work-related matters or engage in office gossip, it's best to steer clear of such conversations. Focus on building positive relationships and creating a supportive and friendly atmosphere.
Respect personal boundaries: Be mindful of personal space and boundaries. Avoid intrusive or overly personal questions, and respect others' privacy. If someone seems uncomfortable with a topic or needs space, give them the opportunity to excuse themselves politely.
Maintain a positive attitude: Be friendly and approachable throughout the event. Smile, be open to meeting new people, and contribute to the overall positive vibe of the gathering.
Follow up: After the event, if you had meaningful conversations or made new connections, consider following up with a brief email or a LinkedIn connection request. It helps to maintain connections beyond the social event.
While work socials are opportunities to build rapport, network, and strengthen relationships with your colleagues. They are also a great chance to have fun and get to know your colleagues on a more personal level so don’t shy away from having conversations with those you don’t normally speak to and showing a different side to your work self. It’s important to be engaged and respect others so that you'll create a positive impression and make the most of the event.