With the holiday season basically in full swing, I thought this question was a timely one as office parties and gatherings (official and unofficial) may be popping up left and right over the next two months!
Here is where I stand. I have had bosses that have no problem having a beer or two (or a glass of wine) with their employees in the office informally at an organized gathering (say a Thanksgiving potluck) or even on a chill Friday afternoon. I have also had bosses that chose not to drink personally, but didn’t expect others to adhere to the same standard when out to lunch or at a work event. Whether or not they were comfortable having alcohol in the office varied.
My bottom line: know your boss and their comfort level with alcohol in the office. (Or even at a work event, though personally I think a boss should be more lax about this. As long as an employee can demonstrate they are able to be professional while also enjoying an adult beverage.) Knowing their comfort level means you may not be able to decipher this piece of information for months or even years, depending on how often you interact with them in all kinds of environments. I’m off the mindset to watch and observe, as opposed to directly asking your boss “how do you feel about alcohol”?
- See how they act/react in all situations where there is alcohol present.
- Do they seem off put if you accept a drink at a work dinner or at an event?
- Do they accept a drink at dinner or event? If they don’t, how do they react when others do?
If you happen to have a boss that frowns upon alcohol in the office, maybe do a little planning and coordinating with your co-workers the next time s/he is out of the office…kidding, just kidding…