Exploring Non-Alcoholic Options for Office Happy Hours: A Guide to Inclusivity and Moderation

Image credit: Pexels

When it comes to happy hours and office events, the first thing that pops into your mind is alcohol. Beer, wine, and liquor are as common at an office happy hour as they are at a dive bar or a frat party. But these traditional options can be problematic for some employees, and they don’t always serve the needs of your business culture.

Slate points out employees often feel compelled to attend drinking events initiated by their employers or supervisors. This practice can be detrimental to people with alcoholism, considering that 40% of American alcohol consumers tend to drink excessively. Moreover, workplaces that promote drinking create a sense of isolation for non-drinkers, who constitute as much as 30% of the American population.

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of offering non-alcoholic options for office happy hours, ideas for drinks that don’t contain alcohol, and tips on how to make sure everyone feels included at work events where alcohol isn’t flowing freely.

The Benefits of Offering Non-Alcoholic Options

As an employer, you may be wondering if it’s worth offering non-alcoholic beverages at your office happy hour. The answer is yes. Non-alcoholic options can be a good way to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm, and they also help people who don’t drink alcohol feel included in-office events.

Offering non-alcoholic beverages allows you to provide a safe environment for all your employees while still encouraging them to socialize with each other outside of work hours. 

In addition, by providing different types of refreshments (including healthy snacks), you’ll show that you respect individual preferences while still encouraging healthy habits in general.

According to GISuser, in today’s society, where the significance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is increasingly recognized, it’s essential to offer healthy alternatives when organizing an office happy hour. 

As per the Food and Health Survey, in 2022, 52% of respondents followed a specific diet or eating pattern, a rise from 39% in 2021. Among those who followed an eating pattern or diet, clean eating (16%), mindful eating (14%), and calorie-counting (13%) were the most common. In 2022, 74% of individuals aged 18-49 followed specific diets and eating patterns, compared to 52% in 2021.

Ideas for Non-alcoholic Drinks

There are plenty of non-alcoholic happy hour ideas, and the best way to find out what works for your group is to try them all. You can also take the help of service providers like CaterCow to plan food and drink at the event.

To make the non-alcoholic office happy hour a success, consider putting these on the menu:

  • Fruit juices: These can be mixed with sparkling water or soda water for a fizzy drink that’s refreshing and not too sweet. Try mixing pineapple juice with grapefruit juice (a favorite of many people) or orange juice with cranberry juice (it tastes like Christmas.).
  • Non-alcoholic beer and wine: These may not have the same flavor as regular alcohol, but they do give you something bubbly in your glass without having any calories. 

We recommend trying these if you’re looking for something light on its own or in cocktails without compromising taste too much. They’re also great if someone in your group doesn’t normally drink much alcohol but wants something special during happy hour since these options won’t get them drunk either way.

Tips for Making Non-Alcoholic Drinks

When you’re hosting a happy hour, it’s important to make sure that everyone has something to drink. Non-alcoholic drinks are an excellent way to ensure that everyone feels included, and they can be just as fun as alcoholic ones. 

Here are some tips for making non-alcoholic options:

  • Use fresh ingredients: If you want to create a drink that tastes good without being too sweet or too bitter, use fresh ingredients whenever possible. You’ll be able to taste the difference.
  • Use variety: There are many different kinds of non-alcoholic beverages out there. Don’t just stick with one type unless you love it. Try mixing up the types of soda available at your office happy hour, so people have options when choosing what they want (or don’t want) in their glass. 

Addressing the Stigma

The first step to addressing the stigma is understanding that it’s a culture change. Many of us have likely been conditioned to think that alcohol is an integral part of every happy hour and work event. 

But it’s not. And if you’re going to be successful at introducing non-alcoholic drinks into your office culture, then you need to get on board with this idea right away. 

So what can you do? Well, first off, don’t feel bad about yourself or take anything personally if someone has a negative reaction when they hear about your new office plan happy hours. 

The reality is that most people haven’t even considered doing something like this before so their reaction may feel like an attack on your character or abilities as an organizer or manager, but it isn’t. It just means they haven’t thought about how else these events could go down.

Addressing the Alcohol Culture

You may be wondering, “Why is addressing the alcohol culture even important?”

It is because, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), alcohol is the most commonly used and misused drug in the U.S. Approximately 14 million Americans, or 1 in every 13 adults, abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. 

Several studies and reports reveal that the workplace costs of alcoholism and alcohol abuse range from $33 billion to $68 billion annually. Alcohol remains a significant contributor to injuries at home, workplaces, and on roads.

It’s also important to note that many people do not drink alcohol. Some people don’t drink for religious reasons or because they’re pregnant. Others just don’t like the taste of alcohol and prefer other beverages instead. 

If you have an office happy hour but exclude non-drinkers from your festivities, then you’re missing out on opportunities for inclusion. The fact that some people don’t drink should not preclude them from participating in activities with their coworkers. If anything, it should encourage us all to think about how we can make our workplaces more inclusive.


We hope that this guide has given you some ideas for hosting inclusive happy hours at your office. We know it can be a challenge to find beverages that fit everyone’s tastes and preferences, but if you can think outside the box and explore all of your options, we guarantee that your next event will be even more successful than before.

Author Profile

Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer

Email https://markmeets.com/contact-form/

Leave a Reply