When organising work parties the temptation can be to pour a big measure of the budget into your alcohol shop. But what can you do for those who can’t drink, or simply don’t fancy it?
It can be awkward having to tell people you don’t drink, especially colleagues. Many people’s first reactions are shock and confusion, as if you’ve told them you secretly love the band Jedward. Here are some ways to make non-drinkers feel like they’re part of the party…
Give people choice
When it comes to work events, non-drinkers can feel left out when the only choice is between alcohol and orange juice.
Giving people a clear choice between hard and soft drinks, rather than just expecting them to drink alcohol, sets the scene that the event is not just about getting drunk and that it’s not expected.
Simple things like having non-alcoholic beer or cocktails, as well as alcoholic versions, can help non-drinkers feel less conspicuous.
Put your guests in control
If you’re planning something like a cocktail-making class, make sure that all the drinks you’ll be making can be made with or without alcohol – and still taste delicious.
Plus, even if people are choosing to drink alcohol, this way lets them decide to skip a round and control exactly how much they want to include in each drink – if at all.
Get inventive with the mocktails
Give your mocktails the same attention as you would their boozy brothers. Get some maraschino cherries in, a variety of syrups and different mixers and see who can make the most delicious concoction.
Don’t make the whole evening about drinking
Make it about getting to know each other. Encourage mixing (socially!) by getting people to find out facts about one another that they wouldn’t know otherwise. Mix up groups of people so you don’t end up with the same friendship groups together.
One great way of doing this is with the 2 facts and a lie game. Where everyone has to say 2 things about themselves that are true and 1 that’s a lie, without making it obvious what the lie is. You’d be surprised about the kinds of things you’ll find out!
Have a booze-free party
Having an office party shouldn’t automatically include drinking alcohol. Especially if you choose to do an activity, such as organising an evening painting pottery or a relaxing meditation and breathing class. Why not send a survey round asking what kinds of things people have always wanted to try?
There are loads of fun, team-building activities that don’t mean you end up with your head in the toilet at the end of the night.
Above all, office parties should bring people together, not isolate them. Giving people more control over what they drink will make sure everyone can enjoy themselves and relax.
Images courtesy of Press Association