How to keep Happy Hour at work happy the next day too

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day for the 17th of March! While you’re thinking about painting the office green, donning your favourite emerald-coloured jumper, and jigging your way to the office to the beat of The Pogues, spare a thought for the considerably less jolly matter of the post-celebratory hangover…


Common sense dictates that employees should limit their alcohol consumption at work events. And yet all too often the workplace is strewn with the casualties of over-indulgence. To help your colleagues avoid a day of self-loathing and the potential long-term career effects of wine-fuelled misbehaviour, let’s formalise the unspoken rules of drinking etiquette. A simple email listing the following guidelines could be enough to save them from those tequila-tipped bullets.


  1. Eat first


Alcohol absorbs into an empty stomach much more quickly than it would a full stomach. So eat before you go out or order a substantial snack when you get there.


  1. Stay away from dare-devil cocktails


Work events are not the time to get acquainted with rocket fuel or wheel out a yard of ale. Opt for drinks on the lower end of the alcohol content spectrum and don’t even think about compensating through quantity.


  1. Keep your tipsy self under lock and key


If the tipsy you is prone to gossiping, complaining, making passes or getting overly emotional, keep him/her firmly under lock and key. This version of your usually professional self needs to be kept away from your colleagues forever. Swap champagne fizz for mineral water bubbles or, if needs be, stay away completely.


  1. Be discerning in your choice of guest


If your plus one causes a scene around the Guinness, it reflects badly on you. If you want to invite a guest to join the festivities, be discerning in your choice and be sure to give them the Don’t-Drink-Too-Much-or-I’ll-Kill-You! chat in advance.


  1. Work is work…


Whatever shape your work celebration takes, keep front of mind that you will be returning to the workplace the next working day. Don’t do anything that will embarrass you or others, or which puts your reputation at risk.


While drinking too much at work events is a big no-no, that shouldn’t put a dampener on your colleagues’ spirits. This may be the first opportunity they’ve had to get together and meet all the latest recruits for some time. So encourage them to attend and have fun. Perhaps just issue a gentle reminder of work drinks etiquette in advance to ensure that only good vibes ensue…


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from ABL, your trusted recruitment partners. Have fun, enjoy your (one or two pints of) Guinness, and let us know how your team celebrates this year!