5 Ways Companies Do Happy Hours Right

Mary Best
June 5, 2018

At the end a long work week, nothing hits the spot like a stiff drink with friends to unwind. So what if you started a company happy hour? Here are some benefits maybe you haven’t considered...after all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

Beer Fridays (or Thursdays)

Why go to the beer when the beer can come to you? In this happy hour model, you can stock a cart of beer (and not just the crappy stuff...you’re not in college anymore) and let the libations flow in the office. This should be at a dedicated time, such as Thursdays or Fridays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. This allows you to control some financial costs of sourcing the booze yourself. Consider adding some games, whether it’s something physical like ping pong or foosball or some kind of party card game. This different kind of office interaction can go far to build team morale and relationships.

Bonus: according to at least one study, consistent, moderate beer consumption is good for you!

Now Get Out!

On the other hand, there’s something to be said about getting out of the office and having drinks together. Getting outside the walls of your all-too-familiar office space together is a great way to bond socially as a team. Play a round of darts and create a trophy for the happy hour darts champion. And watch your team spirit go up by the minute.

All Inclusive

Is everyone 21? Check with your HR department (or yourself, if you’re the office manager who wears the HR hat) to make sure everyone’s of legal drinking age. If you have underage team members, they can’t go to a bar. Sorry interns! On the other side of things, make sure this isn’t just an event for the young guns. It’s important to include everyone of drinking age in the invite. Besides, your coworkers who were born long before you likely have some life wisdom to share with you that could very well be unlocked with a few pints.

The Long Crawl

If you have a happy hour every week, consider changing up the location. Try to visit every bar in a five mile radius of your office. Create an internal rating and review system (or a blog on your company intranet if you want to get technical about it) to rank your favorites. Or even synthesize everyone’s review and post a Yelp review as your company. Together your team can become a group of refined pub connoisseurs.

Setting Limits

While there are some really good and positive benefits to having a regular office happy hour, you’ve got to set some limits. Whether you decide this is one or two drinks, you don’t want your tab to get too high and--of course--you don’t want your team members to get sloshed. Be smart when it comes to mixing business with alcohol; it’s all fun and games until someone takes their shirt off and does laps around the neighborhood.

It’s not a good thing to get stuck in office ruts. You spend 40+ hours a week cooped up with the same people working on spreadsheets and projects. When you get out and do something fun and different together, you’ll create deeper relationships among co-workers.  

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