The office happy hour is a survivor. Last year, as the pandemic began, it migrated online swiftly, just days after lockdowns began.
I remember feeling heartened by the quick regrouping, which I read as a sign of resilience and solidarity. Even a pandemic was not about to dislodge an office tradition. But Heather Lowe, the personal coach behind the consulting firm Ditched The Drink, saw “quarantinis” as more proof of alcohol’s hold on workplace culture.
That isn’t to say she was surprised. Before the pandemic, companies leaned on martinis, champagne, craft beer, wine, and cocktails to recruit potential hires, woo clients at business lunches, celebrate milestones, reward top performers, launch products, and mark the beginning of every weekend.