I ran across an interesting question in one of my FB groups yesterday. A group member was seeking opinions about how much after work socializing others did with their co-workers. She mentioned that she had started a new job and had gone to a couple of work related events after hours, but it seemed to be the norm that the folks she worked with did a standing happy hour every Friday and sometimes hooked up to hang out on weekends. Because she’d declined to participate in with them, a few side bar comments had been made.
Her contention was that she saves her after work and weekend personal time to connect with her REAL friends, not co-workers which I totally agreed with. She asked for help in balancing the need for “face time” and her own personal time. Some folks suggested going to an happy hour once a month and staying long enough to have one drink and then leaving. I suggested initiating lunch plans with people so she would have that excuse (of having to run errands that couldn’t be done at lunch) to pass on after work plans. Others gave examples of how they’d been counseled by management or mentors to be more sociable and how they’d benefited in the workplace because they were or had become more sociable.
So my question is: do you socialize with your co-workers after hours? Has it helped or hurt you in your work life? And how do you draw the line between work and personal time? And how do you feel about “mandatory” work social events? Love them or hate then??