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New Trend: Office Drinking

By Edited Feb 12, 2014 0 0

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An anonymous quote asserts, “If drinking is interfering with your work, you're probably a heavy drinker. If work is interfering with your drinking, you're probably an alcoholic.” What happens when work and alcohol consumption are combined or even, sometimes, encouraged?

Imbibing at Work

Reportedly, there seems to be an increasing tendency in some offices among corporate America, particularly some computer technology companies, to allow office drinking.

Because of long work hours for employees in some companies, the executives of such companies are attempting to bring more of a social atmosphere into the office environment so that their employees can have a better balance between work productivity without totally giving up on some sort of a social life. Such companies want to try to improve and maintain employee satisfaction through many types of perks. One of those perks is free alcohol. Many such companies even host TGIF cocktail hours in their offices and routinely allow alcohol consumption at work after 4 pm, similar to the time that happy hour begins in most bars.

In such companies, the employees can drink as much as they want, within reason. However, employee alcohol consumption is monitored through an iPad application and other means to better ensure alcohol abuse does not become a problem for the office  environment.

Potential Problems with Office Drinking

The practices of allowing alcohol consumption in the office environment can present more problems than benefits. however. A very real potential problem is liability on the part of employers. An employee who has been imbibing in company-provided alcohol and then gets into an accident driving home from work could be a liability risk for the company.

There is a risk of underage drinking in such offices, as well. Not all employees may be of legal drinking age.  Employers can't ascertain with certainty that they aren’t violating law by serving alcohol to those under the legal drinking age.

Alcohol has been known to reduce o inhibitions. With inhibitions being affected, some employess may behave inappropriately after inbibing at work.  The company could be found liable for any resulting harassment claims or lawsuits from co-works that may result from alcohol-induced inappropriate behavior. In addition, alcohol consumption in the office could negatively impact judgment and productivity. This would be counter-productive to the company in the long run.

In conclusion, alcoholism is a major problem in today's society. Some employees are unable to drink moderately. Allowing office drinking may cause setbacks to those who are struggling with sobriety.

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Bibliography

  1. Christian Schappel "“Companies Say ‘Cheers!’ to Drinking on the Job”." HR Morning. 17/3/2011. 22/4/2013 <Web >
  2. "“Drinking at Work”." Fully Effective Employees, Inc. 5/1/2013. 22/4/2013 <Web >
  3. Jared Bilski "“Office Drinking- The Latest Trend in Work/Life Balance?”." CFO Daily News. 25/3/2011. 22/4/2013 <Web >

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