The office can be a very formal place. After all, a certain amount of professionalism is to be expected at work.
While this can be great for business, it’s not exactly ideal for forming employee relationships. And, contrary to what some bosses may think, you may actually want those relationships. In fact, one study found a positive link between workplace relationships and job performance.
So, how do you help cultivate those relationships? One option is to regularly hold staff social hours. This allows employees the chance to socialize outside of the workplace, where they won’t be distracted by their daily tasks or be put off by the formal office culture. There are some other advantages to this approach as well, though it’s certainly not without its downsides.
So, should you have a staff social hour every week? Here are the pros and cons.
Pro: It Can Be a Great Team Building Activity
It may not be your traditional team building activity where everyone works together on a problem, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t bring people together. Having your staff come together in an informal, relaxed environment may allow them to relate to each other more and form stronger bonds. This can then result in increased cooperation and just generally better working relationships at the office.
Con: People May Feel Obligated to Attend
Though everyone at the office would probably benefit from improved relationships, not everyone may want to attend a staff social hour. Some people may not have the time, while others are simply not very social. Even if you specify that they don’t have to attend, they may feel as if they’re missing out on something if they don’t make an appearance. This can lead to some miserable employees, which can make bonding at a staff social hour quite difficult.
Pro: You May Attract New Employees
People love work perks. Some companies may have a yoga instructor come in once a week, others have a free coffee bar, and perhaps yours will have a staff social hour. Again, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking for social, outgoing employees, then this could definitely be a draw to some job hunters. It can also be a great opportunity to welcome new employees to the team and start getting them comfortable with their coworkers.
Con: Some People May Overindulge
If your staff social hour involves alcohol, then you need to be careful. While having drinks with coworkers can be a great way to unwind, some people may not know their limits. You never know what some people are going to be like when they’re drunk, so this may result in some negative interactions between employees. A particularly bad night may even ruin some coworker relationships entirely, defeating the purpose of having a staff social hour in the first place.
Thinking of having a staff social hour at the office? Contact Office Libations today for all your beverage and snack needs!