Study Reveals Americans are Drinking While Working from Home During COVID-19

A recent study was conducted on the number of Americans consuming alcohol while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. The organization that conducted the study learned that one in three people who are now working from home are consuming alcohol while they work. The research polled 3000 participants from all fifty states and then compiled estimates on how many people in each state are drinking before clocking out. Their findings found that 36% of men and 26% of women who are working at home during the pandemic are drinking on the job.

The study’s findings are notably revealing. It showed that Hawaii has the largest number of people drinking while they work from home at 68%. Virginia and New Hampshire tied for the second-largest number, with 50% of people drinking at home while working. The states with the lowest number of persons stating that they were drinking while they work from home during COVID -19 are Arkansas at 8% and Mississippi at 13 %. Regardless of the striking individual state percentages, the concerns about the increase in alcohol consumption are numerous.

Study Reveals Americans are Drinking While Working from Home During COVID-19

Drinking While Working at Home

One effect that is likely to occur is an increase in people developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), also known as alcoholism. According to the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), George S. Kobo says that the coronavirus pandemic has elevated all populations’ levels of anxiety and stress. Globally people are concerned about their health and safety, family members, and their finances. With such incredible concerns, many people will use alcohol for relief. Kobo also points out how alcohol sales have increased, and that feeling isolated while sheltering in place can cause people to reach for a drink more often or when they may typically not.      

The broad effects of the pandemic are also likely to lead to excessive alcohol consumption. Stress and anxiety about the future can increase drinking and exacerbate symptoms of alcohol use disorder. We also know that feeling socially isolated, a possible effect of physical distancing, can worsen symptoms of anxiety or depression, which may encourage more alcohol intake. Indeed, the current COVID-19 crisis appears to have already fueled increases in retail alcohol sales. From the stress of unemployment to feelings of isolation during physical distancing, there are many reasons the COVID-19 emergency may be influencing alcohol consumption. (NIAAA)     

Other negative implications that drinking while working from home will have is poor work performance. Since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes people to feel sluggish as well as relaxed, work output may decrease. Additionally, the quality of work will undoubtedly suffer. Alcohol causes a person to have poor judgment and less acute cognitive ability. Employers are likely noticing more errors in the work that is being completed from home. Alcohol also affects people’s moods as well as mental and motor abilities. There may be instances of employees arguing with coworkers or sending unusual emails.

Why is It Bad to Drink While Working?

Drinking while working from home will also lower a person’s immune system and their body’s ability to fight infection. With the COVID-19 virus being so tricky to treat, consuming alcohol is the worst choice to make when maintaining optimum health is essential, if not drastic. Consuming alcohol not only increases a person’s risk of getting the virus but will worsen symptoms that may lead to death. The World Health Organization (WHO) released an article on the adverse effects of consuming alcohol during a global health crisis.

Avoid alcohol altogether so that you do not undermine your immune system and health and do not risk the health of others. Alcohol use, especially heavy use, weakens the immune system and thus reduces the ability to cope with infectious diseases. Alcohol alters your thoughts, judgment, decision-making, and behavior. Heavy use of alcohol also increases the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe complications of COVID-19. (WHO)

Interestingly, the study also reveals what the preferred alcoholic beverage is for people who are drinking while on the clock from home during the pandemic. NBC News interviewed the organization that completed the research and learned that most people are not drinking wine or hard alcohol, but generally consuming more beer; panic buying and stockpiling of alcohol is also a result of COVID-19.  

The study found that most Americans are drinking beer while working remotely. The study also found that 1 in 5 respondents stockpiled alcohol for self-isolation. (NBC News)

If you or a loved one are struggling with drinking, we are here to help. Our alcoholism resources assist men, women, and families affeced by alcohol abuse and dependence.

Help for Drinking While Working from Home During COVID-19

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