Happy hours after work on Fridays are big business with business people, including real estate agents.  Relaxing with colleagues and friends over a drink after work is not just a common occurrence, it’s the subject of several research studies.  Statista studied 20 million working people and found that 23% of professionals in all fields enjoy happy hours with their colleagues.  Of those respondents living in urban areas, 55% enjoy happy hours with their friends on Fridays.  Technomic, a research consulting firm, found that 25% of professionals ages 25-31 enjoy happy hours with their co-workers.

But, wait a minute here.  Not all people who work drink alcohol during those happy hours. Many people choose not to drink alcohol for a variety of reasons such as religion (Mormons, Baptists, Methodists, Muslims, etc.), being pregnant, taking medications that would interact badly with alcohol, past history with alcohol, not liking the taste or calories or effects of alcohol, being allergic to alcohol, etc.  Do those people who don’t drink alcohol miss out on being part of the team/group?  Do they miss out on being promoted? (Not according to the Harvard Business Review…those researchers found that promotions are based upon quantitative leadership or the numbers you turn in, not the number of times you’ve imbibed during happy hours.)

For those who don’t drink alcohol, here are some things to do instead so you can still feel like you fit into those happy hour times.

  1.  Hold a non-alcoholic drink like a Perrier with a lemon/lime that looks like an alcoholic drink. No one will know the difference
  2. There’s no reason to say that you’re not drinking alcohol.  According to etiquette expert, Jacqueline Whitmore, “There’s no need to share details about your (non-alcoholic) situation.”
  3. Just be your social, charming, witty, likable, authentic self and enjoy the conversation. You won’t miss a thing by not drinking alcohol and you may find that the buzz you do get will come from the social context/mood/ambiance of the group’s being together.

And remember, agents, never drink ‘on the job’ with a client, even if they offer it to you. After the work is done, if the relationship dictates, opt to toast a drink with them later, but better to err on the side of being ultra-professional when performing listing and contract duties.

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