Drinking on the Job Makes a Comeback

Drinking On the Job Don Draper would be so proud! But it's beer, rather than whiskey, that seems to be the libation of choice these days in offices that allow and even provide for drinking on the job. Bloomberg's recent report that San Francisco-based Yelp Inc. keeps a keg on hand with free beer flowing all day has raised more than a few eyebrows -- and glasses.

Of course, the amount employees drink is registered. Attached to the keg there's an iPad app that reads workers' badges, and names are posted on a leader board that is updated immediately. While it's not cool to consistently be at the top of the list, workers occasionally down beers at lunch, on casual Friday afternoons, or when they're working late.

Apparently, the practice of supplying employees with alcohol on the job is not uncommon, especially among Internet companies where employees work incredibly long, hard hours. It's not an unusual practice for programmers to take a swig or two while they code. Even Twitter stocks wine and beer in its refrigerator.

While this new generation of workplace drinkers hasn't been plagued by the same alcohol abuse problems their fathers and grandfathers suffered, the practice of drinking at work is not problem-free. Experts say there are some workers that just cannot control their intake, and it doesn't help them to have the substance of their addiction so readily at hand. Also, sexual harassment can be a greater problem when alcohol flows freely at work and inhibitions are lowered.

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