While Mad Men was set in the 60’s, many of the legacies it addresses have continued to live on well into the twenty-first century. One of the more common ones, drinking in the workplace, has seen a resurgence, particularly in the startup culture. One company, however, is now saying that enough is enough.
The WPP Ad Group has officially banned drinking in their offices as of 2018. This is significant because WPP is one of the last major groups who had publicly accepted drinking in their workplace. Not only that, but WPP represents a massive amount of people. All told, the WPP Group represents 406 individual companies.
According to MSNBC, the WPP Group, actively encouraged their agencies to limit alcohol to designated areas such as lounges and on-site bars. Outside of the workday, WPP hopes to restrict the drinking of their employees to two hours or less. The bar carts of yesteryear are no more, much to the chagrin of many of their employees.
Many employees are upset about the change, claiming that drinking was a critical part of facilitating deal making behind closed doors. MSBC reports that the sales people especially are particularly upset with the change.
Of course, this is only one group. Yes, corporate company culture does seem to be shifting more towards sobriety in the workplace, startup culture seems to be quite the opposite. It’s difficult to find any kind of coworking place in the city that doesn’t have at least one keg on the premise. The mad men days are over, but the hoodie-wearing-tech-nerds reign may have just begun.