Afterwork events are often seen as an excuse to have a beer between colleagues. Or does it have a real purpose in company life? In this article, we unpack the experience for French culture. 

What Are the Benefits of An Afterwork Event?

Afterwork events are designed to create connections between colleagues outside working hours, and this is not without an ulterior motive. If your colleagues discover things they have in common outside work, they’ll also find it easier to communicate and work together in their professional lives.

The French concept is increasingly important to their working environment, and getting on well with colleagues is an important criterion for many of them. A happy employee means half as many sick days, six times less absenteeism and 55% more initiative.[*]

According to a study by Wehobby, 89% of employees are more motivated at work when the employer takes into account the physical and mental well-being of its employees.[**]

Today, 60% of French people who take part in afterwork events consider this to be a decisive factor in their well-being at work.[***]

How Do You Introduce Afterworks at Your Company? 

It’s important to realize that there may be those who are resistant to the idea, pointing out that:

“Everyone does what they want after their working day, and we don’t have to be obliged to spend this time with our colleagues.” 

At no time should your employees feel obliged to attend this event, nor should they feel bad if they don’t. A good way to kick-start this “Thursday night habit” is to survey your staff by asking them if they’d be interested in you organizing afterworks, how often they’re held, the places they’d like to discover or the activities they’d enjoy doing with colleagues. 

This way, you can include them in the planning of these events, and if they feel involved and listened to, they’ll be more motivated to take part.

Having a frequency that’s consistent with what’s been announced and decided with employees is important to get them used to it. However, it’s also a good idea to have additional events in line with the company’s current events.

The two most important criteria for French people when it comes to taking part in afterworks are proximity to the office and the originality of the venue, so choosing the right venue is essential:

  • Have an HQ: some companies have a favorite bar that employees consider a landmark, often located right next to the office.
  • Introduce new venues at every afterwork: to encourage your staff to attend every time, let them try out unusual activities and bars to maintain interest in the event. 
  • The most important thing is to listen to your employees and follow their needs and desires. 

Clearly, these events improve employee morale and engagement. It is also a great human resources initiative to enable networking between teams and connection outside of the office. 


Study notes:

* = Etude Harvard/MIT Study 

**= Etude WeHobby Study 

***= Etude Opinion Way pour Privateaser Study