Recent studies are showing a significant spike in work-at-home employees drinking on the job during the nation’s lockdown from the Coronavirus pandemic. While replacing after-work happy hours with the occasional on the clock cocktail might seem harmless, many supervisors and human resource managers are noticing.
According to an article in Healthline, a study, conducted by officials at Alcohol.org, a provider of treatment resources linked to alcohol abuse and rehabilitation, found that one in three Americans are consuming alcohol at home during business hours. The study, comprised of 3,000 employees across the United States, revealed that 35% of men and women are more likely to drink while working from home, compared to their on-site workspaces.
“Drinking is directly related to the anxiety and fear surrounding COVID-19,” Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer of American Addiction Centers, told Healthline.” Many in the workforce are in recovery, and this time of social distancing, self-imposed isolation, and uncertainty can trigger a relapse. The stress of work and a pandemic, in addition to many other everyday factors, can cause some to drink.
“On the other hand, certainly there is a portion of the population who believes that they can get away with alcohol consumption during hours because they’re completely out of sight of supervisors.”
But employers are becoming more aware of this rise in drinking while working from home. Since most companies are resorting to Zoom or GoTo Meetings to conduct telework collaborations, it is often obvious when an employee is even mildly intoxicated. Other indications include employees being disorganized on video calls or missing online meetings altogether.
This new drinking on the job habit not only jeopardizes one’s position in the workforce, but consequences can also leak into the family dynamic within the home. Domestic violence incidents are rising steadily around the globe since the lockdown as well, and there is a direct correlation between drinking and assault-related arrests.
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