By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer
Millions of Americans are drinking on the job as they work from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to multiple worker surveys.
Beer is their drink of choice over cocktails, according to Alcohol.org, but that’s probably little consolation to corporate bigwigs.
One survey, released Monday, found 42% of nearly 13,000 workers were drinking on the clock at home, according to Fishbowl, a social network “for verified employees.”
“Advertising and marketing agency employees had the highest percentage of employees answering with ‘Yes’, with 49.14%,” Fishbowl reported.
More than half of those surveyed said they feared layoffs due to the pandemic and 60% said COVID-19 “had caused clients to pause or cancel work,” the survey said.
None of the surveys reported asking how much people were drinking, but Americans began stockpiling alcohol as cities, counties and states started announcing stay-at-home orders and restricting travel for the virus.
A 55% spike in alcoholic sales was reported in the third week of March, when panicked shoppers began hoarding alcoholic and other necessities, MarketWatch.com reports.
“Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales,” Marketwatch said.
The Alcohol.org study of 3,000 workers broke the drinking down by state, revealing where most of the drinking was taking place.
“One-fifth of respondents stockpiled alcohol for self-isolation,” the survey added.
The larger Fishbowl survey showed workers in North Carolina, Oregon and Connecticut were the biggest drinkers, each with 47% partaking on the job.
Economist Nicholas Bloom of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research believes the “work-from-home movement ... could actually generate a worldwide productivity slump and threaten economic growth for many years,” according to a March 30 report.
“We are home working alongside our kids, in unsuitable spaces, with no choice and no in-office days. This will create a productivity disaster for firms,” he said in the report.
“I fear this collapse in office face time will lead to a slump in innovation. The new ideas we are losing today could show up as fewer new products in 2021 and beyond, lowering long-run growth.”