Ah, happy hour. Is there a more clear and triumphant signal that you've reached the end of the day? And then there's the almighty Friday happy hour, the moment that the work week ends and the weekend finally begins.
So, let's give happy hour the respect it deserves. If your team doesn't currently do post-work drinks, there's no better time to start than now (or well, 5 PM). If you're already big happy hour fans, why not kick things up a notch?
Here are seven company traditions that are sure to inspire your next team happy hour.
1. Variety is the Spice of Life
Nobody wants to show up to happy hour and have to choose between beer, beer, and beer. Take a cue from Sailthru, which installed a full bar right in the office. Beer, wine, and liquor with mixers? Now we're talking.
2. Get Enough Booze
One bottle of wine and a six-pack for 10 people just won't cut it. Plus, nothing ends a happy hour faster than running out of the good stuff. One option to prevent this? Pick up a keg, or have a tap on-site, like they do at SendGrid. Always enough booze to go around.
3. Stop Standing Around
Standing in a circle making small talk about business isn't exactly what you want to be doing on a Friday. Learn from the employees at Pocket Gems, who host company-wide ping pong tournaments while they get their drink on.
4. Listen to Feedback
Hosting one happy hour will (hopefully) lead to many more. So, make sure you listen to feedback in order to keep making these social sessions better and better. Or, do what Yelp does, and create a special app to rate all the different beers you drink. That might be overkill, but at least they won't be getting the bad beer a second time.
5. Start Early
There is no rule that says you have to painstakingly wait for the clock to hit 5 PM to start drinking. At The Muse, we used to wait until 5 to start our famous Whiskey Fridays. Then one day, someone poured whiskey at 4 PM, and the game changed forever.
6. Get Out of the Office
You spent all day in the office, so why not take the party elsewhere? And no, it doesn't have to be the bar across the street filled with hordes of people who hate their jobs. Go someplace awesome with your team—like the beach, like they do at Florida-based creative agency Levatas.
7. Get Smarter While Drinking
Drinking may kill a small amount of brain cells (still worth it), so it's important keep that brain ticking like a well-oiled machine. You could watch the news or read books, but that would make for a boring happy hour. Instead take a page from Livefyre staffers, who prefer to hold happy hour over a very competitive game of trivia.
Photo of people drinking and beach party courtesy of Shutterstock.