Laguna’s Brandee Baldwin on After-Work Drinking

While drinking on the job or in the workplace is traditionally considered taboo, all restrictions are removed when the workday ends. Surprising statistics show that 1 in ten Americans drink shots after work. Larger percentages show that American workers have acted inappropriately around colleagues while drinking afterwork. Worse yet, while office culture denounces drinking on the job, it often encourages drinking when the job has ended.

Recently, Laguna Treatment Center’s Brandee Baldwin wrote for about the growing problem of after-work drinking, and how workplaces can begin to address this serious issue.

Consequences of After-Work Drinking

employees partaking in after-work drinking

The negative consequences of after-work drinking may not be entirely apparent at first. At least not for those who don’t struggle with alcohol use disorder or addiction. Many people, roughly one third of Americans, believe that grabbing a drink after work with colleagues promotes team bonding. Companies seem to believe this as well. Many companies now proudly tout weekly after-work happy hours or on-tap beer in co-working spaces.

However, these benefits rarely happen. Instead, after-work drinking usually causes tension and decreases productivity.

“The average post-work booze session lasts almost two hours,” Baldwin writes. When coupled with a standard 8-hour workday, this extra time spend drinking can “contribute to exhaustion, brain fog, and overall lower productivity among workers.” Further, while bars do provide for more open discussion than offices, this isn’t always a good thing. Drinking can remove social inhibitions. This can lead to “situations where employees might say things they don’t mean, make commitments they can’t keep, or behave in otherwise irresponsible or offensive ways.” If this happens, it can lead to tense relations among coworkers.

How to Address After-Work Drinking

Baldwin goes on to discuss how workplaces can be a major part of the solution for after-work drinking. One of the best things management can do is to stop offering alcoholic beverages during team-building events. “(Employees) don’t care about Wine Cart Wednesday,” Baldwin writes, “Today’s workforce wants more growth opportunities and increased skills.”

Managers should also be involved in setting boundaries. If management makes it clear that managers and employees drinking is not acceptable, and after-work drinking practices may begin to disappear. Perhaps most important, managers should seek to lead by example. “Managers should set a good example by curtailing after-work drinks and participating in other social activities with co-workers.”boss explaining dangers of after-work drinking to employee

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Laguna

Those who overindulge during after-work drinking hours may be struggling with a different beast; addiction. And addiction can’t be beaten by curtailing after-work drinking hours. Medically-proven addiction treatment is the best tool to helping one overcome addiction. Laguna Treatment Center is Orange County’s premier detox and treatment facility. We’re equipped to help you overcome alcoholism and begin your life in recovery.


All quotes were initially published in Brandee Baldwin’s Op-ed on

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