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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask the Boss

Q: Should employees be allowed to drink alcohol in the office?

Eugenio Litta
CEO, Tovaritch vodka company:

Absolutely not. There's no reason. I wouldn't allow my employees to be in an abnormal condition during the day.

"It's never happened that people drink secretly. We have dynamic young people who want to work. The only person I don't know about is the cleaning lady that comes at 5 a.m. And I won't check.

"We have vodka degustation sessions -- we do it like wine. We just taste it and spit it out. We have specific people, it's not the whole office coming in and saying, 'Let's taste the latest.'

"I won't say that someone caught drinking would be fired, because with everybody that drinks, there's always a specific reason behind it.

"It was a Soviet tradition -- not to drink during work, but to drink because nothing was happening. But Russia has changed."

Andrei Voronin
CEO, Andrew's Travel House:

As it happens, we recently discussed this problem. I allow employees to drink in the office so they don't do it on the sly. And traditionally, employees are allowed to drink alcohol in the canteen, where they mark birthdays and holidays. At functions there's always a responsible person, for example the head of a department, who takes responsibility on himself. Functions are always civilized -- no one gets drunk. As a rule, there are no strong spirits, only things like wine, champagne. Most important are the presence of a responsible person, conformity and a sense of measure."

Douglas Stark
Director of Product Support CIS, Caterpillar:

We have a company policy of no. I assume it impacts on employees' performance and is likely related to safety. We are very concerned about the safety of our employees.

"At the closing hour on Friday afternoon we do have going-away parties for staff leaving or other occasions. In that case, alcohol is tucked away in a conference room. It's kept under control."