Search
Advice » In the Workplace» Work-Life Balance » At the Company Picnic, Etiquet ...
At the Company Picnic, Etiquette Matters

At the Company Picnic, Etiquette Matters

By JoAnn Greco

Memorial Day is gone, and Labor Day beckons. Sometime in between, many of us are likely to find ourselves at an oft-dreaded workplace event: the company summer outing.

It's a tossup as to which comes fraught with more peril, frolicking in the sand with the pasty-legged guys from IT or shimmying with "secret Santas" at the office Christmas party. Both events are ripe with potential faux pas, says Sue Fox, owner of the Etiquette Survival Group.

"Most people seem to naturally behave better when they are dressed for a business or formal event, and the fact that a picnic or daytime event is more casual creates an atmosphere that might justify more casual behavior," she says.

That determinedly casual atmosphere is the largest snake hiding under the office picnic table. "The goal is to be noticed -- in a positive light," says Fox. "You don't want to be the subject of gossip at the water cooler on Monday morning."

Here's how to keep the panic out of the picnic:

Show Up

Even if such events make you uncomfortable, or you can't stand the thought of spending extra time with your coworkers, skipping the party is not a good idea. "The very reason the company has these events is to thank the employees and allow them to enjoy some relaxed fun," Fox says. "While such opportunities are not strictly part of the workday, they are an important part of your career. This is the time to introduce yourself to the CEO and senior managers. Network and mingle."

Be on Your Best Behavior

"Your manners are always under examination...awarding or denying you very high prizes when you least expect it," Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. The relevant insight: Your boss might be weighing a promotion.

Indulge with Caution

"As always, drink moderately and use proper table manners," says Fox. Corn on the cob and barbecued chicken on the menu do not give you leeway to turn into a slob.

Don't Be Overbearing

Yes, it's casual -- and yes, it's hot. But thong bikinis, short-shorts and too-tight T-shirts send the wrong message. "This is not the time or place to come across as sexy, and that goes for family members as well," Fox says. Men, too, should abide by common sense and decency: no stained T-shirts and definitely no bare chests.

Be a Good Sport

Resist the temptation to play hard at the volleyball net or to venture far, farther, farthest into the lake or ocean. "The company picnic is not the time for showing off or trying to be a big shot," Fox says. "Play your best, but play fair."

Mind the Kids

Don't forfeit your babysitting duties if you're a parent. If you're child-free, watch your language -- meaning no sexual overtones, off-color jokes, etc. -- around the kids.

Don't Talk Shop

"These events should be the time to meet other employees and their families," says Fox. Too much business chat can leave spouses and others feeling left out.

Latest Jobs

Swift Transportation
Posted: 04/21/2014
Bramerton, WA, 98337
Swift Transportation
Posted: 04/21/2014
Olympia, WA
Swift Transportation
Posted: 04/21/2014
Dallas, TX
Swift Transportation
Posted: 04/21/2014
Wichita Falls, TX
Swift Transportation
Posted: 04/21/2014
Spokane, WA

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.1.40.6-209
eTrustLogo