Socializing at the workplace is very important. I’m sure the whole concept of coworker socializing in an off-campus setting may seem tricky. But let’s not forget that it’s quite beneficial. Some of the best ways for socializing at the workplace are activities and events that directly relate to the organization you’re working for.
You can be a part of philanthropic work organized by your company, birthday party of a colleague, picnic, business lunch, etc. It’s very important to learn about the importance of workplace interaction. Socialization allows you to establish excellent camaraderie. It makes your professional interactions worth enjoyable and boosts productivity. Moreover, socialization works both ways. It’s a win-win situation for you as well as your company.
Meanwhile, it’s also important to realize that office romance, heavy parties, and frequent night outs with colleagues do not mean socializing. If anything, such situations can be a huge turn-off for your colleagues. Such behaviors may lead to a situation where everything can count against you.
To begin with, coworker socializing must always take place in favorable surroundings. It should be conducted in the places where you’re most likely to be in the best of your behavior. For instance, if you’re a fan of New York Knicks, it’s a bad decision to socialize with a co-worker at that time. You’re most likely to lose the control of your emotions. Your colleagues might not find your intense reaction comfortable if the team is losing. And it can lead to a very difficult situation.
So how do you manage the fine line between party-hardy and fun, between friend and colleague?
Never Say “NO” To Socialization
Mingling with individuals in a professional setting can surely be scary, but you must never avoid it. If you do it once, it can project an arrogant and rude impression in front of your colleagues. They might hesitate in talking to you if you keep frequently keep saying no to socialization. Moreover, you might be missing out on excellent networking opportunities by not socializing.
You need to be inclusive while building out-of-the-office bonds. In other words, being exclusive may be detrimental to your career. You must socialize in a way that does not lead to damaging your professional relationships. No need to hang out exclusively with 2-3 colleagues. Instead, invite the rest of your team.
Don’t Force Yourself In A Group
Sure, you want to be friends with co-workers, but that doesn’t mean that they too are willing to. There can be colleagues who aren’t keen on socializing as you might be. So, don’t force yourself to become a part of group forcefully.
Maintain A Class
A true professional knows how to maintain a class, especially while socializing at the workplace. For instance, gossiping, getting heavily drunk, pulling on embarrassing acts, etc., could work against you. It’s better that you keep it classy even in the out-of-the-office hours with colleagues.
No Need to Be Over-Friendly Online
You need to present yourself in a certain manner if you’re friends with your colleagues. To put it differently, filter your previous pictures and posts before adding colleagues on Facebook. You wouldn’t feel comfortable if your colleagues come across the way you live your personal life. For example, you drink a lot, or you’ve had a fair share of relationships, etc. It’s highly embarrassing. Similarly, there’s no need to start getting over-friendly with your colleagues on Facebook or Twitter.
There are numerous other ways to keep coworker socialization from turning awkward, but these are fundamentals. Always remember the do’s and dont's and you’ll be fine.