While some employees look forward to their company’s summer picnic each year, there are plenty of those who are a bit uncomfortable in work-related social situations that occur outside the office and those who get too comfortable.
The people in this latter groups aren’t sure how to conduct themselves in these kinds of settings. They’re unsure about what they should wear, how they should behave, and who they should talk to.
If you find yourself in that group, rest assured you’re not alone. To reduce the chances that you’ll become That Person at the party and find yourself the star of embarrassing videos, keep these six behavioral tips in mind before heading to your next company picnic. Be sure not to:
1. Swimsuits — just no
You are certainly not expected to wear business formal attire to your company’s summer BBQ. But that doesn’t mean you should wear your new swimsuit, even if you’re buddy-buddy with a few of your coworkers. Remember, it’s still a work event.
2. Talk politics with your coworkers or members of their families
It's election year, yes. But let's keep work functions civil by avoiding asking your coworker’s husband whom he’s voting for. Everyone already knows how heated politics can get, so why not keep these discussions for family gatherings — where they belong.
3. Keep to yourself
Company outings can be tough on anyone. But they can be even more difficult on shy and introverted team members. If you happen to be in one of those categories, then it’s going to be a rough ride for the next few hours.
Since these work functions typically have invitations that extend to family members, bring a friendly face along. They can do all the talking while you do the munching.
4. Be the drunkest one there
If alcohol is involved at a work function, by definition one team member will be the drunkest one there. Whatever you do, don’t let that person be you — especially if you have even the faintest thoughts of climbing the company ladder.
Try out the one-for-one rule: follow each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. It’s likely going to be hot out, so you may as well keep yourself hydrated.
5. Talk about work
Yes, you’re hanging out with all of your coworkers. But don’t you notice something different about your environs? You’re outside the workplace. Don’t try to take your coworkers on a daydreaming field trip back to it. Do try to get to know your coworkers on a personal level.
6. Act like you’re hanging out with your buddies
No matter how much fun you’re having at your company picnic, you can never forget that you’re in the presence of your coworkers — not your college drinking buddies. In addition to watching how much you drink, it’s also critical that you avoid any controversial conversation (e.g., politics or religion). The last thing you want is to inadvertently offend someone.
As a form of employee recognition and getting people to build bridges within their organizational culture, companies put on these BBQs and picnics to celebrate a job well done. So try not to spoil the fun with indecent behavior.