Americans aren't just setting the booze aside for Dry January. For the third year in a row, the country's total consumption of beer, wine, and spirits declined, but the well hasn't quite dried up when it comes to indulging in a tipple at work events.
Despite flagging interest in consumption, trends toward alcohol avoidance for health and wellness reasons, and concerns about its role in sexual harassment and injury claims, drinking remains a fixture of many work environments. That's according to a recent survey from Niznik Behavioral Health of 1,010 full-time U.S. workers.
The days of deals sealed over a three-martini lunch or of bar carts wheeling down office halls may be gone, but drinking remains at the heart of co-worker bonding once the work day ends, often in the form of employer-sponsored happy hours, holiday or end-of-year parties, and corporate retreats, according to the survey.
Almost half of employees reported attending company holiday parties where booze was served, while a quarter said alcohol is present at team bonding events. Fewer offices seem to permit drinks during meeting or lunches with customers or clients — only 13 percent of workers said they were allowed to do so. And finally 12 percent of employees work for a company that sponsors happy hours or allows drinking on certain days or times.