How often do you need to socialize with work colleagues?

How often with colleagues?
By Karen Adamedes

According to a recent poll on the Huffington Post article "Women and Alcohol: Does Mixing Drinking With Work Help or Hinder Your Career" over 80% of us think that drinking with colleagues is a good idea. 

45% of respondents said that 2 drinks were the maximum, whilst another 38% agreed that you need to follow the cues of your office culture and if everyone else catches up for drinks you need to as well - to show you are a team player.

The question they didn't ask is how often do you need to catch up with work colleagues in a social situation?

We all know not to drink and drive. At .05 there is a marked decrease in fine motor skills and reaction times. Not a good combination when you are behind the wheel of something weighing over a tonne.

There's also general agreement that at this level (which could be as little as 2 drinks) judgement and inhibitions are also impacted.

An opinion offered that you'd normally keep to yourself, office gossip that you regret later or blabbing information that was meant to be confidential. Not crimes. But you might regret them in the morning?

Yet, the pressure to be 'part of the team' and engage can be huge. And the cost of not being part of the group can range from loosing the opportunity to get to know people better and building relationships to being 'out of the loop' and not knowing what's going on. It's quite often in more relaxed circumstances when you can hear about upcoming opportunities or the back story on an important project or customer issue. 

Which is where the two drink max support is the winner...if you're still okay to drive your car then they trust their judgement to be in the drivers seat of their career.

This is what the respondents said on the Huffington Post:

It seems pretty overwhelming that most people think that socializing over a drink is important.

But, how often do you need to do the 'extra circular' social thing with work colleagues in order to be seen as a team player?

We are all busy. Careers, families, friends, exercise - there's a lot to fit in. 

So, how much 'relationship building' in your own time is enough to stay in the loop?

Weekly, monthly, every now and then?

With so many competing priorities, this is something I have often debated with myself - so it will be interesting to see what you think!

Please share your thoughts on our poll:

How often do you need to socialize with work colleagues?