WeWork has introduced a mechanized alcohol consumption control initiative for employees of companies using it’s New York facilities.
It makes the move in a climate where tech companies are being criticized over inappropriate office behaviour often fueled by drinking.
WeWork offers co-working spaces to individuals and businesses through tiered pricing plans. It previously offered an unlimited beer on tap policy as a perk to member companies but have now reviewed it down to four 12-ounce glasses of beer per day.
WeWork operates in 20 countries.
They will swipe their building key cards to gain access to taps, but it’ll cut them off when the daily limit is met. Meanwhile, the taps will only work during the hours of 12 p.m. to 8 p.m, WeWork said. The trial is expected to last between 30 and 90 days.
‘WeWork has been working on piloting an innovative, software-driven mechanism to help manage the provision of alcohol in our spaces for some time. In addition to the supervision already provided by our Community Management team, mechanized tap controls will enhance this amenity we provide to our members,’ WeWork said in a statement.
MarketWatch first reported the news Wednesday.
The rule applies to the employees of companies that operate out of its New York City facilities — not its corporate employees. WeWork declined to comment on its internal policies for workplace drinking.
Earlier this month, a lawsuit from a former employee challenged the company’s corporate culture and shed light on its alcohol consumption, noting its ‘free beer on tap all day in all offices policy.’
The former employee, who claims she was sexually assaulted at two company events and ultimately fired in retaliation for reporting the incidents, alleged that ‘in both instances, the male employee professed to be too drunk to remember the incident,’ according to the complaint.
The complaint also alleged WeWork’s headquarters hosts a happy hour every Friday. ‘Employees are all but mandated to attend. It starts at 4 pm,’ the complaint read.
WeWork denied the allegations in a statement at the time: ‘These claims against WeWork are meritless and we will fight this lawsuit. WeWork has always been committed to fostering an inclusive, supportive, and safe workplace.’
WeWork is known for making bold cultural moves. In July, the company issued a company-wide ban on meat, pledging to no longer serve meat at employee events or reimburse them for expensed meals that include red meat, poultry, and pork.