What an interesting topic this is … I can only actually recall having a drink during work hours once and that was years ago, but it just felt like the right thing to do. But many, many people disagree on this topic so I thought it was worth putting my two cents out there.
I did a quick search and here are some comments against having a drink at lunch:
“If I am going back to work, never. I am always surprised when a lunch companion orders a drink.”
“That’s one of those “let’s show you to the door” offenses where I work.”
And from EvilHRLady.org: “Alcohol at lunch is downright stupid. Sure, it’s your “own time,” but do you want to have an employee who was drinking 30 minutes ago working for you? Of course not.”
Now for the people who say it is okay to have a drink at lunch:
“Change the local business culture so that it is not just tacitly tolerated but actively accepted to drink alcohol at lunch again.”
“But when I got into the advertising world and learned that a beer fridge in the office was not grounds for immediate termination – let’s just say I didn’t think it was that big of a deal to have a “pop” and then walk back to a communications position in an office building.”
“Whenever I get the chance to eat lunch at a nearby pub, I always grab a beer. IMO, if the beverage won’t interfere with your professionalism once you get back to work, go on and enjoy one! If you think it may interfere with your productivity later, then opt for something else. A beer or cocktail is just a drink, but what matters most is how you conduct yourself while having it and after you’re done.”
That said, there is a lot of school of thought out there. And let me now give you my take. I was “scolded” by a co-worker when I got back and told her I had had a drink. Her mother was in HR (at a separate company) and said they would never allow it. Here is the truth, it was one beer. I was a salaried employee. Yes, I went back to work afterwards, but there was no explicit policy against having a drink. As a salaried employee, you are never “on the clock,” instead your are technically always on the clock.
I do believe there are professions where you should never have a drink when you are on lunch, but I have never worked in one of those fields.
One last thought: It is something called the Ballmer Peak. “The theory that computer programmers obtain quasi-magical, superhuman coding ability when they have a blood alcohol concentration percentage between 0.129% and 0.138%. The discovery of this effect is attributed to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft – who probably “discovered” it by simply monitoring his own perpetually inebriated nervous system, and deducing that programming ability “peaks” after a few drinks and then dips dramatically after full-blown drunkenness ensues.”
In summation, I will just say that I believe we are all adults and if my burger will be better with a craft brew that will not inhibit my ability to do my job well and to great success, then I should be able to make that choice; so long as I am not breaking any company rules or laws in the process.
What do you think?