Employee barbeques, parties, and summer sport events are fun, but here is something to consider: Your personal friends outside the workplace or away from the workplace, and employees at work with whom you are “personable” do not equate. These two groups are quite different.
This is even more the case when your employer is sponsoring an social event.
Have fun this summer, but realize that many opportunities for positive employee interaction beyond the workplace include a higher risk of harassment.
Employer-sponsored events characterized by less-formal communication, off-site travel experiences, and employee gatherings where alcohol is consumed are especially notorious.
Examples include: training events, intramural sports, holiday parties, and after-work mixers at restaurants with your colleagues.
These settings require self-awareness and professionalism as guides for your behavior.
Negative consequences for your career and reputation can ensue from crossing social boundaries that are perceived by other in your work group to be sexual harassment. These memories stick around for a long time. So avoid workplace harassment.
Know the difference between a co-worker with whom you have a personable relationship and a personal friend. Different rules apply.