It’s when your drinking patterns change—especially in response to stress—that you want to pay attention. “In our 20s and 30s, there are lots of transitional life things happening, like graduating college and going to work, or getting married or having kids, and all of these changes come with some stress,” Lavella says. “If you were already having a drink or two a day, these are times when you may have a little more, and that can become your new baseline, which is problematic.” There are also people who can’t meet right after work because they are primary caregivers and they often miss out on opportunities as such.
If we are going to talk about inclusivity then we should act on it all around. It’s not HRs responsibility to control what employees do after hours. Still, by setting clear expectations and boundaries with staff, HR can play a role in curbing destructive drinking behaviors. Throughout the pandemic, Ms. Mortimer saw an influx of opportunities with organizations interested in accessible events that included tools such as ASL interpreters and chat log transcripts.
You could also follow blogs you like, and read up on Hello Sunday Morning’s blogs and social media posts, as they are created to inspire you with some great ideas to help you change your relationship with alcohol. Karly Mortimer, who is the director of artist and program development at National accessArts Centre in Calgary, is interested in social activities that redefine what it means to invite people into a space. In her role, Ms. Mortimer supports a community of 350 multidisciplinary artists who have developmental and physical disabilities. She also says it’s important to take a day or two off from drinking each week—a habit linked to improved brain health and a lower risk for liver cirrhosis—and to avoid binge drinking.
Huiming Chen, a UK-based senior finance director at a health company, says that in her opinion, after-work drinks culture prevents people from building meaningful workplace connections. She would prefer to participate in career networking events that cater to different personality types. I think the moral of the story is to offer a variety of activities. I have attended many team building events in restaurant settings, but did not feel the need to consume alcohol, because it was not the only option nor was it the option that was pushed. This article quotes several people who are stating their experience.
These numbers show us that it is HARD to break the routine once we have developed a dependence on alcohol to unwind at the end of the day. While it may be challenging to reject after-work drinking norms and stand out from the crowd, Ms. Chen notes that it’s something she has learned to embrace. Even if you do celebrate whatever is being celebrated, drinking is just not that cool anymore. Think of the ocean, the urge is a huge wave, you know it’s big and it’s strong but it will subside if you hang in there. The waves/urges will become smaller and you will become stronger, and in time the waves become even smaller and further apart and far more manageable to deal with. Statistics from our Daybreak mobile app shows that nearly half of our members drink after work.
But the study revealed the average after-work booze session lasts almost two hours, adding substantially to an already-long day on the job. It has also become a substitute for networking and brainstorming; a third of American workers think drinks after work drinking after work is good for team bonding. Going out for drinks has become a routine for work-related celebration, whether it’s winning a new account or nailing a big presentation. With the rise of coworking spaces, regular beer on tap is advertised as a selling point.
Some leaders (often those who make work the primary focus in their lives) want their teams to feel like a family or close friends. When we model a workplace after a family, personal and professional lines begin to blur. We must understand that humans equate family and friendship dynamics with high levels of codependency, unquestioning loyalty, and high degrees of selflessness within the family or friendship unit.
One of the keys to a successful networking culture is diversity in the actual events. We can and should consider accessibility and inclusion in the planning of individual events but having an intentional diversity of events also increases the chance that there will truly be something for everyone. Location, activity, time of day, duration, crowd level and lighting are just some of the things that can impact an individual’s ability to engage and enjoy a networking opportunity.
Compared to light drinkers, people who drank moderately enjoyed a reduced risk for metabolic syndrome—a cluster of common health issues including weight problems, high blood sugar, and poor cholesterol. The risk of overconsumption in a workplace (or work-related) setting can have serious repercussions for both the individual and their company. The average post-work booze session lasts almost two hours, adding substantially to an already long day on the job.
“This was the only socializing opportunity to network, [and it] was happening late in the evening at a brewery I’d never heard of before,” says Ms. Abu Hayyaneh. Hesitant to travel far in the city for the event but not wanting to miss an opportunity for professional engagement, she reluctantly attended. The act of gathering at a bar or restaurant to consume alcohol is often seen as a way for employees and their bosses to bond, chat and get to know one another outside the pressures of the job. I still can’t get over how drinking culture is still such a thing. 💬 As culture is so important and one I strive to ensure is inclusive and uplifting for all, it is refreshing to see the spotlight put on more creative ways of bonding as a team.
As we work towards moving past the “old boys club” and “bro culture”, it’s imperative that Leaders set the tone for meaningful and diverse opportunities for the team to connect. Now, as a senior manager role in the tech space, Ms. Tse is dedicated to dismantling the kind of unequal systems upheld by after-work drinks culture. Changing mindsets can lead to structural change, she says. As a queer woman of colour, it’s a survival skill you have to adapt sometimes just to survive and feel safe,” says Ms. Tse. But for women and other marginalized groups, this common social practice is not always inclusive.