When it comes to office drinks, the downside of more choice is the potential to make the wrong choice.
It’s easy to do, especially if your company is laying on things that you might otherwise have to pay a pretty penny for. After all, you can get water anywhere… but something you’d usually have to pay a couple of quid for in a shop? Take that now and go with water later – or so the idea goes.
As companies stock up their breakout room shelves with increasingly appealing beverages to get you through the day, there are few you’d be best advised to avoid – no matter how tempting they might look.
1/ Hot chocolate
… otherwise known as a nap in a cup.
Back in 2006, after acquiring my first fancy drinks dispenser for the office (one of those ones where you put the sachet in and a hot beverage magically appears moments later), I decided that giving my employees the option of the occasional hot chocolate would be a very nice thing to do.
What ensued was tantamount to a hamster storing food in its cheeks so nobody else could get it. Almost instantly, all of the sachets had disappeared from the drinks rack and been stowed in employees’ desks. To make things fair, next time I ordered, I divvied them out equally so everybody got the same.
It still didn’t solve the biggest problem which was that a nice cup of hot chocolate lead to blood sugar spikes that saw my workers end up practically comatose about half an hour after their drink. Needless to say, I didn’t think an hour’s worth of companywide lethargy was in everybody’s business interests so hot chocolate was taken off the menu.
2/ Energy drinks
There was a time when a few members of my team and I would gladly and capably put away upwards of five cans of energy drink on any given Friday morning to make sure we ended the week with a bang.
The theory wasn’t quite in line with the reality as this “bang” only lasted until midday. The afternoon was mainly spent deeply regretting the morning’s consumption and fighting through a taurine hangover.
At least it was only one day a week – I’ve seen recruiters go through several cans of the sticky, sweet stuff every day for so long it has actually made them ill. No good for your bank balance, no good for your health. If you find yourself lacking energy at work, cut down on your carbohydrate intake at lunch, increase water levels and make sure you get some exercise at some point during the day. Don’t depend on any product with a colour or animal in its name.
3/ Beer (or any alcoholic drink)
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that recruiters casually drink their way through every day. However, some companies do allow (or even encourage) their team to crack open a bottle or can at some point during Friday afternoon to celebrate another week well worked.
In theory, I’m completely down with this – providing it comes at the genuine end of the work week. Where I begin to disagree with the practice is when people continue to make business calls whilst sipping suds.
Whilst a little Dutch courage can help you make statements and assertions you may normally shy away from, this can be highly damaging. Even after one beer, many people have their judgement compromised enough to make decisions or agreements that they might usually avoid. And once the decision is made, you cannot retract it.
By all means, raise a glass – but don’t do it until there’s no more work to be done.
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