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Increase Your Productivity at Work: BOOZE IT UP

Image by Flickr user Muffet

I’ve been saying this for a decade. The mamby-pamby wishy-washy tee-totallers are killing workplace camaraderie, and now, according to a 2012 study (that was obviously swept under the radar by their ilk), we find out they’re also snuffing out our productivity.

The idea of booze in the workplace was as common as pencils til the early 80′s. Especially in sales-oriented industries like media buying and real estate. Business got done over the 3 Martini Lunch. Contracts were signed and celebrated with a belt from the boss’s office mini-bar. And problems were instantly diluted and drained to nothing with a quick round of rum and cokes. The proof is right there on numerous Sunday nights during Mad Men. Ideas percolate and geniuses thrive when there’s a few libations.

Well, God bless those ne’er do-wells over at Slate.com, in particular; , who has asked the all-important and none-to-late question:

Why SHOULDN’T we drink at work?

In his article “The Case for Getting Drunk at Work” Matthew echoes my sentiments on demise of the workday-bumps;

Drinking at lunch went into decline in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the exact same time that a number of regulatory changes were implemented that were supposed to make American business less cozy and more competitive. Whether the change in drinking norms actually caused changes in productivity or were just a product of the larger trends is going to be hard to say.

Saint Matthew dug up a glossed-over study called “Uncorking The Muse; Alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving“, conducted by a team led by Andrew F. Jarosz from the Department of (Reverse???) Psychology at the University of Illinois; Chicago. This study, which can only be described as the the effort of angels, reveals what the Don Draper in us already knows;

The current experiment tested the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test (RAT). Individuals were brought to a blood alcohol content of approximately .075, and, after reaching peak intoxication, completed a battery of RAT items. Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive their solutions as the result of a sudden insight. Results are interpreted from an attentional control perspective.

Sure, .075 is too shnookered to drive, but hell, if getting moderately greased makes us all more productive and insightful, I don’t mind being on the schedule as the sober driver once a week.

But we have a study… and that’s enough for me. So I say let’s hoist a celebratory shot and get our asses back to work.

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