Vincy Workplace
August 15, 2014

How to avoid disaster at the company outing

We all have stories of disasters at company outings. Maybe your story is of the employee who had a little too much to drink and made a fool of himself/herself, or the colleague who wore the micro bathing suit or the one who packed up all the leftovers to take home. The stories can be endless. As summer winds down, companies often host outings for a little fun and relaxation and to show appreciation to their employees.{{more}} Even though these are informal settings, proper business behaviour is still expected, because people are technically still on the job at the event.

1. Dress the part. The rule of dressing conservatively still applies. Avoid short shorts, clothing with inappropriate or tasteless slogans or revealing outfits. Swimwear should be conservative; you want co-workers to remember your professional character after the outing, not an unforgettable image of your body parts, no matter how attractive you may feel.

2. If alcohol is served, stop after one or two drinks. Choose beer or wine and pass on the hard liquor.

3. Think about your conversation topics and steer clear of the temptation to gossip. There’s a tendency to be a bit loose with the tongue in informal settings. This is not the time to test your comedy act. Keep in mind that you are still being observed and evaluated unofficially.

4. If you work for a large company, take the opportunity to meet new people and strengthen old connections; avoid staying with familiar groups or social cliques all day. The wider your network, the better your chances are for advancement and recognition within the organization.

5. If the outing is at a golf course and you are not a golfer, be adventurous and take a few lessons before the event, or consider taking a lesson that day. If these options are not feasible, use the time to network with other non-golfers in the clubhouse or volunteer on the course. Do not take a book and read all day or isolate yourself in some other way.

6. If games are being played and you are physically able, try to participate as much as you can.

7. Be gracious at the buffet line. Take moderate portions; don’t cut the line; and go back for seconds only after everyone has had the opportunity to go through the line.

Enjoy the summer

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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