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Drinking at work: Don’t raise a glass to new trend

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Management Training

A recent BusinessWeek story, Booze Makes Comeback in Workplace, is creating a buzz in the HR world.

The story pours out several examples of companies—mostly technology firms—that are embracing the idea of drinking at work.

For example, Twitter has wine and beer in its fridge. A spokewoman for the company said, “We treat employees as adults, and they act accordingly.”

At the San Francisco offices of Yelp Inc., a keg of beer constantly flows. And, this being Silicon Valley, the keg is connected to an iPad application. Employees badge in every time they tap into the keg and it records every once each person drinks.  “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,” Yelp’s director of consumer products, Eric Singley, told the magazine.

Our take: Occasional celebrations are fine, but offering an unlimited liquid buffet is simply asking for employment-law trouble.

As Robert Sutton, a professor in Stanford University’s management science department, said, “There’s like a bazillion studies that show when people drink, their performance is impaired, and there’s problems with absenteeism.”

What’s your take on this apparent trend?

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