Should You Serve Alcohol at Your Office Party?
today at 12:33 pm
In the modern workplace, drinking at events is becoming the new norm. More than 50% of office parties in the United States include alcohol as part of the festivities, and less than half regulate the amount of booze employees drink. If you decide to serve alcohol at yours, it’s best to know the risks and plan ahead to minimize any accidents or improper conduct due to intoxication.
Here are a few ways to keep things under control and still host a fun office party.
Set a Limit
Avoid making the alcohol the focus of work events by setting a limit on the number of drinks employees may consume. Doing so will also prevent people from overindulging and engaging in risky behavior. One way you might enforce the limit is by issuing one or two drink tickets per person or hiring bartenders instead of allowing employees to self-serve. Moreover, don’t serve mixed drinks or punches that make it difficult for employees to gauge how much alcohol they’ve had.
Prepare for a Little Overindulgence
Of course, if people want to be drunk, they will certainly find a way — even if you are actively limiting alcohol consumption. Employees who want to party might have a drink or two before arriving, bring mini liquor bottles or even use others’ drink tickets. Therefore, you should prepare for a little overindulgence. Recruit managers to keep an eye out for these employees and discreetly put an end to their drinking for the evening.
Get Liability Insurance
You might also take a peek at your company’s insurance policy to determine whether or not you’ll be liable for misconduct due to overconsumption. In some cases, the law may even hold you responsible for any drunk driving accidents that occur after an intoxicated employee leaves the party. If you don’t have liquor liability coverage, purchase the insurance. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, regardless of how many drinks you plan to serve.
Provide Non-Alcoholic Options
Chances are not everyone on your team drinks alcohol. Whether you have a few recovering alcoholics or people who simply don’t enjoy drinking, it’s best to provide some non-alcoholic beverage options as well. Choose a few healthy beverages like vitamin water and organic tea and stock up on sodas and sparkling water. Even those sipping beers and wine will appreciate a bottle of water or ice tea to rehydrate.
Offer Safe Transport Home
Sometimes, even two drinks can be enough to send someone over the edge. Play it safe by offering free transportation home after the event. Pay for cabs to sit outside the building in case someone needs a ride. Or, designate a few managers to drive home any employees who couldn’t handle their liquor or overindulged. Both you and your workers will sleep better knowing they got home safe.
Plan Ahead and Have Fun
Determining whether to serve alcohol at your office party is a big decision — one you shouldn’t take lightly. If you do decide to provide alcohol, plan it carefully and take all necessary precautions. Doing so will keep everyone safe and make for a fun party your employees will remember fondly.