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Should I invite my co-workers to my barbecue?
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Should I invite my co-workers to my barbecue?

Summer is here, and while that means it’s time to cut the grass, clean out the grill and find all of that stowed-away patio furniture, it also means it’s time for the commencement of the summer cookouts. Cookouts are one of the greatest ways to entertain on the cheap – you load up on dogs, burgers, wine, a cooler full of drinks, turn on your favorite summer jam (we really like Jimmy Buffet and Ben Harper) and that’s it!

Well, almost. For some of us the hardest part of the cookout is not deciding what to serve but who to serve. You obviously have your close group of friends who you know will see the online invite for free burgers and horse shoes and come en masse, but what about those people you see eight hours a day, five days a week? Oh yeah, what about your co-workers?

Before the days of Facebook, our weekends were ours, but now everything we do will be broadcasted to 750 of our closest friends online. Even if you don’t post about it, there’s a good chance one of your guest will, so take that into consideration before writing off one group or the other.

First, consider if your co-workers would want to be invited to the party? Are they social people? If so, then they probably would have no problem mingling over a bratwurst and a plastic cup of wine. It could help make your cookout the one to beat for the summer if everyone is meeting new people and having a good time.

Not all of our co-workers will be able to hold their own in the social jungle, and if you have a Milton Waddams at your office you may want to concoct a Plan B. Consider another cookout solely for the office and make it known before the weekend of the one for your friends. If your co-workers know they have their own party to attend later it’s unlikely anyone will get their feelings hurt over the cookout they didn’t get invited to.

While the consensus among our office is the more the merrier, we understand that not everyone works in our same relaxed environment. But you’ll never know until you try, so just double the amount of dogs and drinks and give it a try! Heck, invite the neighbors, too!

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