Allow alcohol in the office? Why are most startups in the bay area are doing it?


I have visited quite a few startups in san francisco and the bay area and saw a growing trend... booze. And lots of it.

When I visited Yammer I saw engineers drinking scotch at their desks while working.

Is this just a hip thing to do or do people find themselves to be more productive if they're more relaxed after a drink?

Are there any legal issues to be aware of for startups to start having booze around for their engineers around the office?

Office Productivity Alcohol Yammer

asked Feb 26 '14 at 18:46
Joseph Styers
60 points
  • Relevant: 6 years ago
  • @RB. Your comment is reason enough to put comment up-voting at the top of the list now. Pushing that code live shortly. – Nishank Khanna 6 years ago

1 Answer


Attracting good engineers is a full time job and many companies do things, alcohol being just one of them, to appear more relaxed and friendly places to work.

From experience, there is one type of work where alcohol does help (to me anyway): design. There have been occasions where having a drink or two helped get the creative juices flowing.

At the same time, I would never drink and try to push code live to the server :)

I'm not sure if there are any legal restrictions from you keeping booze in the office kitchen (might vary from state to state), but there sure would be issues if people get wasted and someone gets hurt.

Your mileage may vary. Drink responsibly.

answered Feb 26 '14 at 19:23
Nishank Khanna
4,265 points
  • I have some similar experiences; I know many larger corporations have a fair bit of alcohol around. On one side it can get out of hand, on the other it is certainly true that the dev team needs to unwind in order to find some creative solutions or deal with the taxing stress of coding all day. Middle ground might be bringing around a drink cart after a scheduled daily code check-in or just having longer lunch breaks. – Garet Claborn 6 years ago

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