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Drinking & Driving Results

March 17, 2011

OK, so right off the bat, please don’t let the title suggest I advocate drinking & driving in any way! I’m talking about workplace drinking like the boys and girls on “Mad Men” and reports that it’s coming back. Obviously, there are perils to office cocktails including decreased productivity and increased potential for sexual harassment and not, but as I inventory the people I work best with, a couple drinks now and again out of the office have helped build the camaraderie that holds us together.

I hear that years ago, our field offices had Friday afternoon cold ones. Clearly it’s the lubrication of office collegiality that’s the potential plus here. I also can envision greeting a hair-on-fire employee, charging wide eyed into my office, with a calming, “Hey, chill. Let’s have a drink.” Strong personal relationships help drive business forward and alcohol is a socially acceptable assist to relationship building, so why not in the office? It can be managed. At consumer foghorn Yelp, they installed an iPad app to measure each drop of barley and hops consumed by employees. As one employee remarked, “If you’re at the top of the leader board consistently, I don’t know if that’s a place that you’d want to be.”

For me personally, I’m against the idea. I don’t think my boss waking me up after one afternoon drink would be career enhancing. I’ll stick to the occasional team-building after-hours like tonight. It’s bon voyage for our Social Media Manager. We’ll all miss her and it didn’t take any drinks to drive that.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. Be careful out there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2011 6:09 pm

    I worked at a startup in a cool city and we had beer in the fridge, readily available. When people worked late (which happened at least a couple times a week) we’d get takeout and have a beer while we were working. Maybe play a little ping pong for a break. And then get back to work. It was all part of the culture. We were single 20-somethings recently out of college, and work and life were intertwined. Creativity flourished, we had a great time, and the company did well.

    But life is different now. It’s ten years later and I work in a different job in the ‘burbs. I’m married with kids. I can’t have a beer in the middle of the day because I could suddenly get a call to pick up a sick kid from daycare. I can’t stay late – I have kids waiting for me to get them. But thanks to my iPhone and the magic of working remotely on my laptop, the work always gets done – even though I’m not physically in the office as much as I used to be.

    Now when I have a drink while working it’s in the comfort of my own home after the kids are in bed. Not exactly the same as the old days, but still kinda cool. And I do have drinks with colleagues – but like you, after work at a bar. And since I am now a lightweight, it’s usually one drink for me. I have those kiddos to think about now.

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