Human Resources News & Insights

Should you allow alcohol in your office? Pros & cons

A long-since-exiled workplace habit is now making a big comeback: drinking in the office. And it’s not because employees are sneaking it into their place of business and sipping in the shadows. 

The reason it’s making a comeback is because employers are now offering alcohol as a workplace perk.

Not only is it something employees want (no surprise there), it’s also something employers feel can attract and retain today’s more progressive-minded Millennials.

The million-dollar question is, however, is it right for your office?

Of course, your legal counsel will say, “Heavens, no!”

That’s obviously the safest course.

But not every company is interested in playing it completely safe. Sometimes if you want the best talent, you’ve got to take a few risks.

When it’s definitely a no-no

Of course, right off the bat we can eliminate a few industries from those who could possibly consider alcohol on the job — healthcare, construction and anything to do with transportation, just to name a few.

The simple fact is, if there’s even a slight chance that drinking at your office could put an employee, customer or bystander in danger, it’s probably best to ignore this idea.

Still, there are a lot of industries where that’s not the case — like software engineering or just about any kind of IT work, accounting or marketing (remember Mad Men?). Although, even in those industries, you need employees responsible enough to not go over the deep end.

To help employers evaluate whether alcohol could be a potential fit with their workforces, Clarity Way, an addiction and mental health recovery center in south central Pennsylvania, has put together this infographic listing five pros and five cons of providing alcohol at work:

Alcohol-in-the-Office-Final-Graphic

Source: Clarity Way

Where it’s happening most

It’s also worth mentioning that the majority of the offices we’ve seen that allow employees to drink are nestled in major cities and smack in the middle of densely packed urban areas.

This significantly reduces the chances of employees hopping in a car at the end of the day and driving intoxicated, because many workers at these companies live nearby and can walk to work and/or they have easy access to public transportation.

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  • Gary Coon

    Just referenced this article in my Taste N Trip blogpost at tinyurl.com/TnTBeerFridge. Very good look at the Pros and Cons.