Many people associate drinking alcohol with a series of negative effects, from harmful behaviors that impact oneself and others to road traffic accidents or violence. But the truth is, these 'bad behaviours' are down to over-consumption. The paradox of enjoying alcoholic drinks such as a glass of red wine with a meal, is that it comes with benefits not just to your physical health, life, work and relationships.
A recent study from Victoria University of Wellington found that alcohol is:
1. Commonly used to facilitate team bonding.
2. A means for presenting a friendly, informal image when networking with clients.
3. A way for organizations to celebrate success.
4. A way for new employees to induct into the organization.
Alcohol can be regarded as a social advantage at work especially for young employees. Research interestingly indicated that organizations which take the initiative to offer free alcohol on special occassions, were considered favourably by employees. What's more, workers say they felt prompted to increase their performance during ordinary work time. Alcohol also appeared to have helped young employees with their career progression.
The other side of the coin
Drinking on the job has long been part of work life in the U.S. and abroad, whether it's a beer with colleagues in the UK or Japanese workers entertaining clients at sake bars. But holding happy hour in the office is different, experts say, because it brings after-hours activity into the professional space.
Researchers in the U.S. also claim that office drinking may turn off anyone who doesn't fit the demographic, such as parents or those with strong religious views, not to mention recovering addicts and alcoholics. The consumption of alcohol can therefore be an exclusionary practice.
Does alcohol have a place in the office?
Alcohol has inevitably occupied a central position in our modern lifestyle and it is often part of our everyday joyful moments. We would all welcome a happy hour at work to forge relationships with employees and managers or to celebrate a colleague’s promotion and create a cozy atmosphere.
It is time to start saying cheers more often with your colleagues!