Repercussions of excessive drinking on workplace

Considered as a major stress-buster, alcohol has become a chill pill for many people. The imbalance between the myriad responsibilities at the workplace and the daily tasks of household responsibilities often take a toll on a person’s mental health. Under such circumstances, alcohol acts as an elixir that calms a person’s agitated mind and triggers feelings of gratification.

However, one must bear the fact in mind that drinking is just a temporary solution. In fact, the persistence of drinking for a prolonged period can affect a person’s interpersonal relationships, productivity, financial condition, etc. In brief, it has the potential to wreak damage on a person’s personal and professional life.

According to a national survey of the workers of the United States, nearly 15.3 percent of the workforce reported drinking before work, drinking during work hours or working under the influence of alcohol in the prior year. Regardless of the size, many organizations witness the problem of drinking among their employees. While most of these people are social drinkers, a large proportion of the population gets involved in unhealthy and problematic drinking patterns.

Any kind of indulgence in problem drinking at workplace leads to impairment of cognitive abilities like decision-making, concentration, memory, etc., that results in an enormous financial burden on the company, poor productivity, loss of job, absenteeism, health complications, etc. Moreover, there is an increased risk of self-harm and unintentional injuries, such as slips, fall from a height, etc.

Since employees suffering from alcoholism tend to spend most of their time in office, other members, such as colleagues, supervisors, etc., become vulnerable to the risks. The current article discusses some of the significant alcohol-related problems and associated consequences on the work environment.

Effective secondary preventive measures can dissuade problem drinking at workplace

Several studies have highlighted the significant presence of problems related to drinking in the workforce. An employee’s problem drinking can raise multiple issues in the workplace, such as frequent delay to office and absenteeism, poor decision-making capability, lack of concentration, additional employee health costs, increased error rates, reduced efficiency, etc.

As most of the adults are employed, it becomes essential to enunciate effective intervention measures from workplace. Due to the employee with problem drinking, his or her peers and colleagues have to bear the consequences like increased workload, elevated levels of distress, augmented disputes, etc. In such circumstances, the employer should start a string of preventive measures rather than demotivate the employee by withdrawing pay and other benefits associated with the job.

Despite the numerous restraints and controls related to drinking at the workplace, several other factors can force an individual to consume alcohol during work hours. One of the major risk factors is stress. A significant relationship has been found between an employee’s elevated levels of stress and alcohol consumption.

Other factors, including long hours or irregular shift work, hazardous and dangerous work, strict deadlines, remote or irregular supervision, etc., can result in lower job satisfaction and a higher level of stress. These problems, in turn, trigger drinking habits in an employee. Therefore, employers should focus on implementing preventive measures that reduce the existing drinking problems in employees.

Moreover, employers should implement certain strategies and measures to raise awareness about the related risks and responsibilities associated with alcohol use in the workplace. Training programs to spread awareness on the short-term and long-term consequences of drinking should be carried out periodically. Furthermore, stringent rules and guidelines should be enforced to dissuade employees from indulging in drinking at workplace.

Undergo holistic treatment for alcohol-related problems

It is important that employees are given adequate information on where, how and when to seek help and assistance for problem drinking, if required. With a proper support system and effective interventions, employers can help reduce the negative consequences of alcohol use in the workplace. Besides helping the person in starting a new alcohol-free life, such measures can also assist his or her peers, colleagues and the employer.

If you or your colleague is dependent on alcohol or exhibiting the warning signs, such as sleeping while working, confrontational behavior with supervisors and coworkers, poor concentration, etc. contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know more about inpatient treatment for alcoholism in California. Call our 24/7 helpline 855-980-1715 or chat online for any information regarding alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California.

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