Marks, Alexandra, “How drinking harms on-the-job efficiency.”
Christian Science Monitor
12/23/98, Vol. 91 Issue 20
NEW YORK….For the first time, researchers have documented that it is these social drinkers - not the hard-core alcoholics or problem drinkers - who are responsible for most of the estimated $67 billion worth of lost productivity that’s attributed each year to alcohol-related problems. The implications are expected to transform corporate drinking policies across the country. Most now focus strictly on people with serious alcohol problems.
As a result of this study, researchers say, they should start educating every worker about the negative “stealth effects” of even low levels of drinking at work, and any heavy drinking off the job.
Conducted over four years at seven Fortune 500 companies by JSI and researchers from the Harvard and Boston University Schools of Health, the study also found that 80 percent of the drinking that took place during the workday, took place at lunch. The study found that even a glass of wine or a beer with a burger impaired worker productivity.
Counter to popular wisdom, the study also found that it was managers, not hourly employees, who were most often drinking during the workday. Twenty-three percent of upper managers and 11 percent of first-line supervisors said they had a drink during the workday, compared with only 8 percent of hourly employees.