Are you the type of person who goes into work every day, doesn’t talk to anyone except about work, and then goes home at the end of the day and doesn’t think twice about your coworkers? Well, you’re probably missing out on a number of events. Besides taking a break from the monotony of work-sleep-work-sleep routine, there are plenty of social reasons why you should participate in workplace social events.
Let’s take a look at a few:
When you participate in company events, you get the chance to interact with people you wouldn’t normally interact with. Perhaps you spend your entire day in the finance department and have never spoken to any of the customer service reps. It gives you the opportunity to get to know more people from your workplace you may never interact with on a normal basis.
Different Walks of Life
Every single person is different and every person’s story is unique, even when they work in the same place. When you start to socialize with different people that you work with, you open yourself up to meeting people who have drastically different backgrounds than you.
Did you know that software developer taught themselves how to code because they could not afford formal schooling? Or did you know the front desk administrator grew up in rural China? By talking to other coworkers, you can broaden your understanding of the world. It’s easy to think everyone lives the way you do, but the world is so much bigger than your understanding of it. Talk to people to expand your world view, and your coworkers are a great place to start!
To add to the last two points, you never know who shares your interests. Who knew the quiet person who always catches your elevator liked Celtic folk music as much as you? When you talk to different people and hear their different stories, you find out that even though you are different, you have things in common.
Maybe you have always been dying to play Dungeons and Dragons, but you don’t want to let your nerdy, “unprofessional” side peek through during work hours. By striking up a conversation in a social setting outside of those work hours, you might be more comfortable and let the true you shine. Similarly, you never know who else is just as weird as you.
When people connect on a personal (not professional) level, the community of the organization grows. People won’t look at each other as just coworkers, but they will start to see each other as peers. That’s not to say everyone always has to like everyone else. However, the stronger the overall community, the healthier the company.
If your managers or higher-ups go to these social events, you have the chance to show them you care more about the job and the company than just getting the work done. You show that you care about getting to know your coworkers and building community. While if you do not attend these events, your reputation might not be affected, attending certainly shows that you enjoy the company you spend your entire day with.
Finally, to combine all the above topics, when you attend workplace social events with your company, you help build your professional network. Business comes down to relationships, so if you show you can form good relationships both in and out of the office, people will notice.
So have fun and connect with people outside of the office at workplace social events because you have the chance to the relationships you make at work and make the most out of your day job.