Workplace Culture: Why We Drink Beer at Work
Coworkers who drink together, produce great work together.
That’s our motto. (Well, I guess that’s not our official company motto, but for the sake of today’s topic, let’s pretend.)
We here at 9 Clouds appreciate an ice-cold bottle of brewskie or tall glass of wine as much you love our digital marketing content.
We work hard to deliver clients the best possible work we can muster. Our day-to-day operations tend to lean toward a speedy pace, and stressful situations may occur. Having a drink with our teammates helps to relieve tension.
But don’t be fooled about how chill we seem. We only drink if it’s after 3 p.m. and don’t have a client meeting or other important client work to remain sober for. We have standards, okay?
Sip on This: Top 4 Reasons We Drink at Work
I could go on and on about the wonders of drinking at my desk, or in the conference room, or in the kitchen, or outside at the bar a block away from our office. . . . (Wait, do I have a problem?)
Instead, I’ll just list my top four reasons for why drinking alcohol on the job is a pretty great thing for a casual workplace culture like ours.
1. Progressive Work Environments Typically Offer Free Beer
Companies like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and more have a lot of perks — including beer-filled fridges or even a “keg refrigerator.” If employees need to work long hours into the night, these companies show their appreciation by making work life more enjoyable with free booze.
When you offer flexible work hours instead of the eight-to-five daily grind like we do at 9 Clouds, employees are welcome to create their own schedules.
Personally, I find that I do some of my best writing after 6 p.m., and having a beer (or four) tends to kick off the creativity sooner — which is an excellent segue to my next point.
2. Drinking Can Aid the Creative Process
Ah yes, the creative process. Doesn’t your “big idea” seem to hit at the most peculiar of times?
Science has proven that alcohol eliminates barriers holding you back from creative breakthroughs. Booze can lessen our ability to focus on extraneous information while opening up passageways in the brain that benefit creative problem-solving.
In this Consciousness and Cognition study, sober and intoxicated (BAC = .075) individuals were asked to solve Remote Associates Test (RAT) items. The intoxicated individuals ended up solving more RAT items in less time than the sober participants. They also attributed their quick solutions to “sudden insights.”
So the next time your employees are having a brainstorming session, maybe take them out to happy hour! Being away from the office and in a relaxed environment will spark interesting conversations and new ideas.
3. Booze Sparks Office Socializing
Isn’t it kind of weird that you can sit in the same room with someone you’re emailing without actually speaking to them IRL?
Cracking open a cold one can help make you more chatty and open to a myriad of discussions. It’s been proven before that drinking beer makes you more social and empathetic.
This is because the alcohol binds to a specific type of receptor in the brain and boosts the activity of a natural chemical called GABA. GABA systems increase levels of dopamine, also known as the “reward chemical.”
Everything is better at the office when employees are happy. Getting along with your coworkers makes work feel less like work.
4. It Proves You Trust Your Employees
We are adults. We can make our own decisions, damn it.
When a workplace has an open-door policy with a beer fridge, company morale can improve. Employees see this gesture as a symbol of trust.
Personally, I feel a great deal of respect at 9 Clouds. When I’m able to have a few drinks with my coworkers in the office, I feel oddly inspired. I’m empowered to make my own decisions and use my best judgment.
Whether or not people partake in the booze, it’s a sign of respect. The underlying message is: “We’re grown-ups, and we have the ability to get the job done on our own terms.”
Drink Up More Great Content Like This
Every company makes management decisions and rules to keep employees in check. By allowing employees more freedom, you breed respect and trust for your workplace culture. You don’t have to let the drinking policy get too out of hand.
A beer fridge might not work for all workplace environments. But there are many other ways to help your employees feel truly valued by giving them the freedom to be themselves and establish a good work-life balance.
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