The days of the three-martini lunch are long gone, as is the once proverbial bottle of rye in the bottom desk drawer. Even the typical holiday office party is more likely than ever to be potluck than open bar.
These days, drinking on the job is anathema in most workplaces.
Unless you work at Maloney & Fox, a New York City-based public relations firm, where "Bloody Mary Brainstorming Sessions" are a common occurrence and the bar is always open. Lest this conjure an image of slurry outgoing messages, typo-ridden e-mails and 90 percent absenteeism rates, take note that work gets done. Maloney & Fox’s substantial client roster includes Microsoft, T-Mobile, RCA and Wonderbra.
"It’s always hard to get people to drop what they’re doing and come in for a brainstorming session," co-founder Margie Fox says. "Having a drink warms people up and gets them into the room. If you can knock down an inhibition just a tiny bit, you’re not afraid to say something you thought might be kind of a digression or just plain silly but is actually a really good idea.
No one at the firm has a title, there is no dress code, and employees are given a wide berth during work hours not only to attend to parenting responsibilities or doctors’ appointments, but to duck out for a matinee or even a bit of shopping.
"We believe they’re adults and responsible," Fox says. "Me being a mother has made having a balanced life more important than anything, including work. But when you have that balance, the work gets done and it gets done better."