We've all been there - gone out with the work crew to prove that you're all really just nice people - then spent the whole evening talking about that painful client or whether you'll reach your targets this month.
So how do you stop your working day seep into your down time with your colleagues?
Try these three easy steps for keeping the office chatter out of the bowling alley at your next event.
1. Play dress up
Who doesn't love a good themed party? Pick a broad theme that everyone can get in to, such as a letter of the alphabet, a country or colours, and make sure everyone knows jeans and a t-shirt aren't acceptable.
Getting everyone out of their 'smart casual' wear into some creative frocks and suits will show you a whole new side of your workmates. At the very least, it will provide a talking point more interesting than ROI.
2. Fines for work speak
Still noticing Trudy from accounts won't stop talking in spreadsheet? Instigate fines for those who fail to switch to fun mode and get everyone in on calling the others out. You could have the person with the most offences at the end of the night buy the office a round of coffee the next day, or simply bring along a fantastically stupid hat to wear for whoever mentioned the 'W' word last.
3. Bring partners and family
What better way to remind yourselves that your workmates don't just exist from the 9-5? Make the invite open to partners and families as well, and you'll get to see everyone interact, meet the littl'uns and suss out everyone's partners. It'll be a great talking point to move away from work topics and will remind you that your boss is only human, after all.