Here's some info to take to your boss today: American employees have become less creative since the demise of the three-martini lunch, and there is a strong case to be made that it needs to come back.
A recent article in the Economist suggests it's a new phenomenon that American offices' are showing an aversion to drinking on the job. Currently, people who have a glass of wine during a job interview, or who imbibe in the late afternoon at work, are seen as less intelligent than those who just drink soda. This wasn't really the case in the "Mad Men" days.
They looked at Americans’ perception of drinking in a professional setting. In one experiment, they found that job candidates who ordered a glass of wine during an interview over dinner were viewed as less intelligent than those who ordered a soft drink. This holds true even when the interviewer himself is enjoying something a little stronger. Several other experiments showed that Americans link even moderate drinking with stupidity, which the professors call the “imbibing idiot bias”.
Actually, though, drinking can make you more creative.
This may be short-sighted. Another recent paper from the journal Consciousness and Cognition by psychologists at the University of Illinois confirms what many have long suspected: a couple of drinks makes workers more creative. Tipsy employees, they say, find it hard to focus on a task, but this makes them more likely to come up with innovative ideas. This may help to explain the success of Silicon Valley, one of the last workplaces in America where hard and soft drinks still jostle for space in the company fridge.
We're going to put this to the test and start drinking all day at the office. Fool-proof plan for success.