Free Alcohol at Work: A Privilege or a Mistake?

Drinking on the job is still an idea not many are keen on. It’s one of those things like smoking in the office loo, punching your boss, yelling at a customer – you get the gist – that are absolutely frowned upon and would leave you with a terrible reference at work. Yet, you’d be surprised to learn that keg refrigerators and beer taps are actually making their way back into offices these days. Or at least that’s what startups and big firms like Yelp and Twitter are advertising as a way to broaden their appeal.

A Cultural Accessory

Nowadays, job applicants not only look for a job that pays the bills, but a work environment where they feel appreciated and can take pleasure in. 66% of millennials said unique perks like food and beer are what keep them interested at work, while 89% cited workplace happiness as a reason they stay with a job. Consider it an accessory to an attractive corporate culture, and an investment that will put your company at a higher level of success. Are they mandatory? Not quite. But are they nice to have? Yes, why not.

Just a Little Faith

At Prevue, we keep our fridge stocked up with a couple of beers and ciders almost all the time. Unless you have a sales call or a deadline to meet, we do believe that a little booze on a Friday afternoon is acceptable and necessary for some of us to unwind. Of course, this type of workplace manifesto isn’t created to fit all kinds of positions – most certainly not for someone in the medical field or a customer-facing role. But in our case, we created these norms because we trust our employees to drink responsibly, which in return, seems to have encouraged our team to work even harder than before.

The Booze Rules

There are many steps one can take to ensure employee satisfaction at work, and free booze is only one of the options out there. To be fair, any office perk can make or break a company depending on how it’s enforced. On a smaller scale, even something as simple as offering free lunch can tip the balance if, say, dietary options aren’t provided to those with allergies or restrictions. With that said, rewarding your people with drinks at work is still an idea that needs to be implemented carefully. Here’s what you must keep in mind:

  • Establish set rules on alcohol-free hours and amount allowed
  • Make it clear that each individual must be held liable to their own actions
  • Make it optional and avoid peer pressuring others into drinking
  • Ensure there are non-alcoholic beverages available for non-drinkers so they feel included

For any workplace policy to work, it requires effort from both the employers and the employees. Liquor alone might not solve all your problems, but with a proper strategy – it can be worth a shot. Tequila!