HR Strange But True!
June 26, 2008

Workers have witnessed a lot during happy hour at the local watering hole after work. They have seen their co-workers kiss a colleague, kiss up to the boss, badmouth the boss, act unprofessionally, and possibly worst of all, sing karaoke, according to a survey by

The survey found that 21 percent of workers say they attend happy hours with their co- workers. Among those who attend, nearly a quarter report they go to happy hour at least once a month.

Workers who attend happy hour said they do so for the following reasons:

  • To bond with their co-workers (82 percent)
  • To network (20 percent)
  • To hear the latest office gossip (15 percent)
  • Because they feel obligated to be there (13 percent)
  • To bond with their boss (11 percent)

Does going to happy hour work in helping workers move up the ladder of an organization? The answer depends on whom you ask.

Eighty-five percent of respondents who attend happy hour say that it failed to help them get closer to someone higher up or land a better position in the organization.

However, workers in the retail sales (33 percent), financial industry (21 percent), and sales (20 percent) were more likely to report that going to happy hour helped them to get close to someone higher up in the company and/or a better position.

What happens at happy hour? A bit of everything occurs, from gossip to ... gasp ... karaoke, according to the survey.

When asked, workers reported that the following incidents happened during a work happy hour:

  • Someone bad-mouthed a co-worker or member of management (16 percent)
  • Someone shared a secret about a co-worker (10 percent)
  • Someone kissed a co-worker (8 percent)
  • Someone drank too much and acted unprofessionally (8 percent)
  • Someone shared a secret about the company (5 percent)
  • Someone sang karaoke (4 percent)


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