Corporate and Cocktails- Mixing Work and Fun with Office Happy Hour

January 21, 2021

The work week is over and you want to reward your employees. While lunches or team outings can be enjoyable, hosting an office happy hour is a real crowd pleaser. Office-wide happy hours are a great opportunity to let your employees relax and unwind after a stressful project, week, or as a mid-month celebration. This time can be used to help coworkers bond, decompress, and connect with each other outside the pressures and dynamics of being “on the clock.” But how exactly do you combine work and play without crossing an unprofessional line? What can you do to make your work happy hour more exciting and fun (rather than just offering grocery store beverages)? In this article, the professional bartenders NC of POUR Bar Services explain the concept and give some insight into the world of mixing business and pleasure. 

Be Flexible and Fun

  • Depending on the size of your business, your office may consist of 200 people or 20. Either way, an enjoyable way to mix things up is to invite the entire staff list. Many work outings keep to their small circle of immediate coworkers, so the opportunity to spark a conversation across specialties is limited; break this barrier with an office-wide happy hour!
  • Liven up the event by offering different beverages. Not everyone enjoys beer or wine, so offering mixed drinks or even non-alcoholic options is a great way to supply options and not exclude anyone. Speak with your professional bartenders NC from POUR Bar Services and ask about the different packages we offer!
  • Happy hour is typically thought to take place around 5 o’clock. Yet, there is no rule book that says this is a must. If your work comes to a stop around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, schedule your happy hour for then. If work comes to a halt at 12 o’clock on Fridays, an office luncheon is totally acceptable. 
  • If you’re wanting to mix it up a bit, rather than simply offering an “open bar,” hold a wine tasting, martini bar, or cocktail and hors d'oeuvres pairing. Other fun ways to get everyone involved are by playing games, holding a giveaway, or with friendly competition. 
  • Food should always be included in professional events like this. Whether it's delivered pizza, catered appetizers, or frozen finger foods, it is a rule of thumb that when alcohol is served, food should be too. A neat way to mix this up is by hosting a potluck. Coworkers can bring in their favorite party dishes to share, which limits cost and generates conversations. 
  • Plan for the happy hour to be themed. Instead of just gathering in the conference room for casual drinking and snacking, pick a theme for the evening and give your employees the option to dress accordingly. The professional bartenders NC with POUR Bar Services love an opportunity to dress up. It all makes for an escape from reality that can quickly turn into an incredibly enjoyable evening.

Liabilities and Stressors

  • There aren’t many things that can kill the buzz of a work happy hour like running out of drinks quickly. Planning accordingly is key to making sure you have enough to go around for everyone. If you go over your estimates, save it for next time. An even better option, rather than putting all of the stress on you, hire professional bartenders NC such as POUR Bartending Services to handle all of the math, setup, distribution, and cleanup! 
  • You’re holding an office happy hour, but you also want everyone to be responsible and safe. Rather than enforcing rules yourself, allow a bartending service to take the heat of having to cut off an employee or take away their keys. 
  • Hosting a team happy hour does come with potential legal liabilities for your company. In the case of everyone serving themselves, your business could be held responsible for accidents or deaths. Yet, there is an easy solution to this Debby Downer - hire a professional bartending service like POUR Bar Services. Hiring a bartender to open, serve, and keep track of consumption takes all of the liability and responsibility off of you, and puts it in the hands of the bartending service. 
  • We hate to say it, but misconduct is another thing to consider. Alcohol does lower inhibitions and can easily blur the line between acceptable small talk and inappropriate jabs. Gently reminding employees that they should still adhere to the business's policies at work-sponsored events should take care of that. 

Hosting a company happy hour is a great way to celebrate success, show employee appreciation, and build bonds throughout the business. With all of the creative yet professional happy hour ideas above, you can shift the focus from drinking to blow off steam to spending time together as coworkers. This will generate the feeling of a safe and happy atmosphere that is comfortable while continuing professionalism. 

POUR Bar Services 

No matter the extent of the event you are holding, POUR Bar Services is prepared to set the BAR high by going above and beyond in making the best custom cocktails, a great customer experience, and a time to be remembered. For more information, to book a service, or to speak with one of our experienced POUR staff members contact us today! Cheers!