It seems almost taboo now but not long ago drinking in the office or during work hours was the norm. With drug and alcohol testing so popular, many people shy away from the idea of drinking around co-workers and bosses. However, drinking isn’t illegal and is completely fine to partake in at work as long as you stay in check.
If you’ve ever seen an episode (or even five minutes) of Mad Men you probably remember the drinking. While this portrayal of the 1960s office culture is accurate, drinking in the office began to lessen in the 70s when huge cutbacks to business entertainment and dinner tax caused drinking to go underground.
The Journal of Consumer Psychology found that Americans held a “stupidity” bias against those who drank in a professional setting. They were viewed as less intelligent and less hireable than candidates who ordered a soda. However, candidates who ordered wine were considered more intelligent.
So, is it Okay?
You probably shouldn’t walk into the office on a Tuesday morning and pour a few fingers of whiskey, but if your office is having a cocktail hour or a party then feel free.
There are some companies that have in-office beer fridges and encourage their employees to have a drink or two while they work, saying it helps to relax workers and stir up creativity. It’s even been claimed that drinking while working help productivity as well.
Just Use Common Sense
Obviously, this is all theorized in an office area. No place with heavy lifting or machinery around.
If you are an employer deciding whether or not to bring alcohol into the office, make sure your employees will all understand the ramifications of abusing it. They need to understand their limits (not getting drunk at lunch) and that any client interactions need to be done sober.
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