Rebecca D. Thomas

A Values-Driven, Sustainable Lifestyle Blog, seeking innovative and forward-thinking ideas in business, travel, food, fashion, and beyond!

Social Work

Show of hands, please: How many people enjoy hanging out with co-workers after traditional work hours? Based on my recent observations, many hands would be up right now! According to the Fall 2014 Workforce Mood Tracker Report, having friendships at work increases company commitment and satisfaction.

Here are four tips on how, if you so choose, to extend your co-worker time to Happy Hour, and beyond:

First and foremost, you are at work to work, not necessarily to build a network of super-close friends. If you do, that is bonus, and a blessing. I’ve been very fortunate to build some amazing friendships with co-workers over the years. But, there have been times when I needed to put up boundaries with some, in order to protect and preserve a healthy working relationship.

Time spent with coworkers outside of work should be because you want to, not because you have to. It is time to graduate from peer pressure. This is not middle school. It should be fun and relaxing, a time where you can be you, and be respected.  That said, we are all at different places in life. People have setbacks on their road to maturity. That’s just life. Respect and support each other, and refrain from judging co-workers who may not be at a high maturity or boundary level. Believe in your co-workers, and help them to be their best, but don’t push yourself on them, and don’t offer unsolicited advice. It takes time to build trust. Once mutual trust is established, consider loosening some of the rigid boundaries you may have put in place. Use your best, wisest judgement.

View your after-hour work gatherings as a networking reception, not a gripe-session.  Are you positive, or is your after-hour time spent gossiping and complaining? How do you handle yourself in social settings? You never know who is listening and watching. From whom can you watch and learn? Take advantage of growth opportunities, big and small, among your colleagues. Be a good example. This could be your time to shine!

Be creative. There are a variety of co-worker team building activities to choose from. I love Happy Hour, but there are other options. Participate in a charitable team walk/run. Go to the local rock gym. Have a game night. Test your physical and mental skills and limits. Who knows, you may just build mutually beneficial, healthy friendships that stand the test of time.

Enough said. Now, who wants have some co-worker fun?! Please scroll down for my hero pic, and thank you for reading!  
shark tails,

Halloween party with one of my fav co-workers,

Spring Saturday festival,

co-worker time at the indoor rock gym!

Rebecca’s Heroes
My pick for this post is Porter Novelli. I pick them because of their partnership with CARE. They are the original social marketers, and this social worker loves them. :)


  1. It is nice to have friends at work but I discontinued happy hours and such because they turned into nasty sniping sessions. Also, the company that I used to work for made those type of team builders mandatory and they were not enjoyable. You seem like you have a healthy environment where you work, Rebecca. That is always a plus! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Susan, yes, I do have a healthy work environment now, though that has not always been the case. So, I will enjoy it, but eventually, I would like to work from home. One day…! #Dreaming