It may feel like a blast from the past mixing cocktails in the office, but these days it’s not uncommon to find companies with kegs in their break room. If you find yourself in such a work environment, it’s important to keep in mind the good, the bad and the ugly of consuming on the clock.
Pro: Creates an appealing atmosphere which will attract future employees.
Companies are focusing on cultivating the right culture to ensure it’s not only a desirable place for their existing employees but that it’ll be attractive to potential employees as well. New employees bring new ideas and keep things from becoming stagnant. If someone is looking to switch companies, they’ll see a more relaxed environment as a plus compared to one that is more strict and it may influence their final decision.
Con: Everyone has their limit.
Probably the most obvious of drawbacks, it’s still important to stress that you don’t ever want to be drunk on the job. Luckily most alcohol-friendly offices have limitations in place to prevent this from happening; but you always want to be mindful of how much is too much for yourself. Abusing your employer’s free alcohol perk will cause you to lose credibility, make your coworkers uncomfortable, and will put you on the fast track to being fired.
Pro: Positive impact on creativity.
There is credibility to the old adage of “taking the edge off.” Alcohol can help you relax and allow your ideas to flow more freely. It can be similar to getting those light bulb ideas right before you fall asleep, switching your brain out of work-horse mode will shake lose any creative blocks you’ve encountered throughout the day.
Con: You’re more likely to work longer hours.
If the creativity is flowing, you’re not likely to leave until your ideas are seen through. Employers are banking on this. They figure why leave the office to go to happy hour when we can bring happy hour to you. The worst part is you may not even realize how long you’re actually staying, with a drink in hand it doesn’t feel like the basic 9-5 anymore.
Pro: Encourages you to take those much needed breaks.
Companies will try out different tactics to keep morale high and give employees those 15-20 minutes away from the computer. Some may build walking trails, others host minute-to-win-it competitions in the break room, and then there are some that serve margaritas on Taco Tuesday. What you do to stay alert and motivated will be reflected in your performance.
Con: The health risks involved.
Very little research is needed to understand the dangers of too much drinking. The Center for Disease Control associates high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, liver disease, digestive problems and cancer with excessive alcohol intake. Additionally having alcohol readily available would be incredibly risky for those prone to substance abuse. The typical office break room is already a hazard to the waistline with the contents of vending machines and birthday cake that inevitably seems to pop up every week, so keep in mind the number of empty calories you’d consume with a beer every lunch break.