Workplace drinking culture: Staff admit they feel 'pressured' into after-work drinks

Workplace drinking culture: Staff admit they feel 'pressured' into after-work drinks

The rise of the workplace drinking culture is taking its toll on employees and productivity alike.

A new report from Canada Life Group Insurance reveals that 33% of UK employees report a drinking culture in their workplace, while 29% have regretted their actions after drinking at work.

The survey shows that twice as many male employees (20%) consume alcohol at work on a weekly basis compared to their female counterparts (nine per cent).

Paul Avis, Marketing Director of Canada Life Group, comments on the enlightening report: “Most of the time, a casual drink with colleagues is harmless and can help to boost employee morale and teamwork. But when taken to the extreme, this can lead to behaviour that might leave some feeling red-faced the next morning. A heavy workplace drinking culture could mean that some employees end up in this situation regularly, spelling bad news for their own career, organisational productivity and the HR department.”

The study found that 28% of UK employees on average have felt pressured into drinking alcohol at work in the past, men more often feel they are subjected to such pressure than women (32% of men compared to 22% of women).

This rise in workplace drinking does not signal a healthy future for UK employees, as excessive alcohol consumption has been proven to be linked to a number of health problems, including depression and several types of cancer. A further report from GRiD Claims, found that cancer accounted for 69% of critical illness insurance claims.

“Cancer is the biggest cause of all group risk claims and, while there are many contributing causes of cancer, alcohol consumption has been identified as a major one,” continued Avis.

“Group critical illness and group income protection can support people who are diagnosed with cancer, but prevention of absence and support for those with alcohol problems must be the best way to approach the topic. 

“Employee Assistance Programmes, such as those provided alongside most group income protection policies, are a great way of offering support for employees who may find their drinking has become a problem. Support services such as these are confidential and free to use for employees.”

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