Perspective needed on work parties

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Banning alcohol at work events

Related tags Alcohol Party Work space Christmas Beer Alcoholic beverage Drinking culture Pubs Pub Legislation

If things can’t get much worse for the pub sector, the fun-police are now out trying to ban drinking at work parties.

While I fundamentally agree that drinking in the office is never a good idea, particularly not before the 9am meeting, the idea of alcohol being banned from the office Christmas party seems a little harsh.

Aside from the fun of missing seeing Brian from accounts trying to show off his breakdancing moves, the economic impact on pubs and bars is no laughing matter.

Leaving dos, birthday parties, Christmas bashes, all of these are part of the lifeblood of many operations, with some operators actually employing people to target businesses to bring their events to their doors.

To demonise alcohol and shame companies that allow their employees to enjoy some downtime on the company dime seems like yet another blow to the sector that it really doesn’t need.

I appreciate we’ve had a spate of headlines of late which have brought the anti-alcohol police to the fore, but to demand a rule for everyone, based on the bad behaviour of a minority of unpleasant and irresponsible individuals is a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Personal accountability? Yes, there’s always going to be someone who goes too far at a work bash, but nine-times-out-of-ten it usually just involves Steve the office junior vomiting on his supervisors shoes.

While it might make me seem old and “anti-woke” to rail against this, sometimes making a tit of yourself at a work event is a right of passage, and something many of us will have been through and learnt from.

Alcohol can be a social lubricant and helps to allow people to bond, and let’s face it, facing a night out with work colleagues without a drink is enough to make my blood run cold. And while, absolutely those that don’t want to drink certainly shouldn’t be heckled or made to feel inferior, let’s not take the choice away from people who do.

Pubs have a hard enough time at the moment without them facing another income stream being shut down.

Let’s get a sense of perspective and behave like grown-ups.

Related topics Events & Occasions

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