Coffee Doesn’t Come with Shot of Social Pressure
It’s no surprise really that many different types of people choose not to drink. Pregnant and nursing women, people who have religious beliefs that don’t allow drinking, extremely health conscious individuals, recovering alcoholics, and people who don’t like the taste of alcohol often find professional events where drinking is encouraged to be awkward and off-putting. Opting for water or soda instead of cocktails or beer can feel embarrassing or alienating. Having a beverage that’s clearly not what everyone else is drinking can also invite unwanted questions around people that they shouldn’t have to justify their lifestyle or beliefs to, making them nervous and putting them on the defensive.
This is where coffee succeeds perfectly! Those very same groups of people may also not be allowed to drink or choose to drink caffeine, but with coffee you can’t tell the difference between a decaf beverage and a full-octane variety. Most coffeehouse selections also include beverages that are completely coffee-free (like Starbucks with their line of crème-based ice blended offerings) for people who just don’t like the taste of coffee (A Mormon co-worker of mine used to joke that the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino was the official drink of Mormons at Starbucks.) And even if coffee isn’t your thing, I’ve never met anyone who is downright offended by other people’s enjoyment of coffee.
Coffee Doesn’t Lead to Risky Behavior
Everyone has a story of a coworker doing or saying something inappropriate after having one too many drinks. Best case scenario – he/she had to apologize later. Worst case scenario – he/she was fired for the offense. Increasingly employers are realizing that the risks of hosting or promoting events where alcohol is being served are too steep, and opting for other ways to celebrate wins and encourage team bonding.
Okay fine, drinking a TON of caffeine probably could cause you to run out into traffic or something, but the odds of someone throwing back 42 tiny cups of espresso at your next work coffee outing is pretty slim. The most dangerous side effect of drinking a lot of coffee is having to pee, which doesn’t rank very high on the list of potential workplace dangers. This is fact alone makes offering a dark roast instead of a dark stout a great idea!
So, the next time you’re organizing a work or professional function, consider going the coffee route instead of falling back on the old staple of providing drink tickets or meeting at a bar. Here are some of our favorite ways to integrate java into the professional world:
- Team outings for a cup of fancy gourmet coffee
- Hosting networking events at local coffee shops
- Having a coffee bar and experienced baristas at convention or conference evening gatherings
- Holiday parties with a high-energy vibe that offer coffee instead of cocktails
- Bringing a coffee cart into the office for special occasions
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!