12 Happy Hour Alternatives for Connecting with Co-Workers

happy hour alternatives

There’s more to happy hour than beer and Buffalo wings. It’s a chance to bond with your colleagues, shake off stress, and feel a sense of comradery before you return to your family in the evening. However, keep in mind that there are many ways to bond with others without participating in unhealthy behaviors. The following article will present many alternatives to happy hour to bond without the impact on your health. 

Hold onto the advantages of a happy hour without sabotaging your health goals. Try these happy hour alternatives for socializing after work or anytime during the week.

Things to keep in mind is that many people in our country struggle with addictions, and sometimes unknowingly. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is defined as the following: 1. A compulsion to seek or take drugs or alcohol, 2. a loss of control while under the influence, 3. a negative emotional state such as anxiety, irritability, etc coupled with drug or alcohol abuse.

These instances often define withdrawal symptoms when access or usage is limited. Addiction has a three-stage cycle- binge/intoxication, withdrawal of negative affect, and preoccupation or anticipation that worsens over time. The changes in brain reward and stress systems can lead to compulsive alcohol seeking.

This can even be seen and often normalized in social settings such as a happy hour. And while it may seem harmless for some it is incredibly unhealthy for them which is why seeking happy hour alternatives or offering a combination of happy hour and alternatives to happy hour for working events can be helpful to mitigate excessive alcohol use. 

After Work Social Activities using Happy Hour Alternatives

The hour after work deserves its popularity as a time to get together. You can decompress after a hectic day at the office using many alternatives to happy hour. You may even be able to avoid the worst rush hour traffic on your commute home by sharing and networking with coworkers.

  • Work out. Exercise instead of having a drink:

     Sign up for group classes at the nearest gym or a local yoga studio. Join a softball league as an individual or as a coworker team… These after-work activities provide a social outlet as well as fun for everyone as they get fit together.

  • Eat cheap:

    Why wait for your senior years to start saving money with early bird specials? Finish your whole dinner or consider it a first course. You’ll have the rest of the evening free for other enjoyments. You’ll also be less tempted by junk food because you’ll feel full when you arrive home. Eating before 6 pm can help the digestive process instead of eating and laying down quickly.

  • Appreciate art:

    In many cities, museums and other venues stay open late at least one evening each week. Browse through the galleries and discuss the works over a cup of tea in the cafe. This can provide you with a sense of culture and can relax you before your commute.

Before Work Social Activities as Happy Hour Alternatives

The decisions you make in the morning set the tone for your day. Plus, early morning sunshine lifts your mood, so share it with others. It can also be helpful for team meetings and focus sessions. 

  • Connect with nature:

    You’ll look forward to waking up early when you see all that nature has to offer. Meet your coworkers in the park while the sun is rising and birds are singing. Take a walk or do Tai Chi together. This can help not only build a bond but relax you mentally as well as emotionally before the day begins.

  • Sit and meditate:

     Support each other in starting a meditation practice. Ask your employer about using the conference room or search for a meditation center in your neighborhood. As alternatives to a happy hour set a schedule of “meet and meditate”. Post it around the office and share a few moments of guided meditation. This can be a big hit in high-stress offices with low morale.

  • Eat breakfast:

    A nutritious meal will give you energy until lunch. Gather in the break room or the coffee shop in the lobby. This can be a nice gentle way to incorporate happy hour alternatives as morning coffee is a socially acceptable way to network with each other.

Lunchtime Social Activities as Happy Hour Alternatives

It can be tempting to work through lunch, but taking a break is likely to make you more productive. It may also be the only opportunity to discuss subjects other than business.

  • Invite speakers:

    The lunch hour is a great opportunity to hear from speakers on a variety of topics. Pass around a survey to discover what your fellow employees are interested in. They may want to learn more about health insurance or community gardening. Encourage your colleagues to share their own expertise too. This is an excellent alternative to happy hour as you begin to learn more about various topics that you may be interested in, if you are interested in natural healthcare, holistic healthcare, or holistic nutrition feel free to fill out this form so someone can book a free lunch and learn with our practice.

  • Make crafts:

    Switch gears by trading in the spreadsheets for felt and scissors. Creative activities may help you to think more innovatively when you return to your desk. These also can help you think outside of the box creatively about your work tasks.

  • Watch a movie:

    Take your mind off your clients and vendors with a little entertainment. Show reruns of an old TV program or a funny movie. Split the show into segments to fit your schedule as happy hour alternatives. You can also choose to watch movies with messages relating to work concepts or pioneer or innovation movies. This can allow for discussion after the fact.

Weekend Social Activities as Happy Hour Alternatives

Plan an occasional weekend program. You’ll have more time to spend together, especially if you want to travel out of town as an alternative to happy hour. 

  • Hold a weekend retreat:

    Retreats are a proven way to build teams. Incorporate playtime into the agenda along with more serious discussions. Have different speakers come in surrounding different topics from team building to mindset, to nutrition, and the importance of self-care in a team unit.

  • Throw a party:

    Celebrate company milestones and obscure holidays. Put together a potluck or a wine and cheese buffet. Award high achievers, and use this as an opportunity to celebrate those rising stars in your team for their accomplishments.

  • Train for the future:

    Let your employer know you’re interested in increasing your value. Attend an outside program or hire your own instructor to teach the staff introductory Spanish or coding. This can be fun to learn from other staff members as well as expand the skill set of all team members. 

Traditionally, we learn from social behaviors. That includes both healthy and unhealthy behaviors including alcohol use. If you create a company culture based around unhealthy behaviors do not be surprised that these unhealthy behaviors may impact your work settings.

During adolescence, we understand these social models through interactions with our peers. The strength of bonds between peers is a major factor in creating social norms. As adults, this is the same concept, if you bond on healthy things the health of the team will improve.

Consequently, if you bond on unhealthy things then the health of the team will decay.

Consequently, weak family bonds can also continue, and sometimes the stress at home is so much that work is a refuge for many people. Ensuring that the work environment is healthy is a winning strategy for team building as well as achieving company goals. 

Happy hour alternatives can enrich your mind and your professional relationships without packing on extra calories. Talk with your employer about promoting healthy initiatives or invite your friends from work to join you for some quality time. For additional strategies and ideas for happy hour alternatives please contact us for a corporate consultation. 





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