Workplace Factors

Workplace factors can influence an employee’s alcohol use and patterns of alcohol consumption.

Workplace Customs

  • Workplace subcultures and social networks e.g. pressure to join in regular drinking practices.
  • Co-worker behavioural norms can be influential at work and in work-related settings.
  • Administrative and management culture.

Workplace Conditions and Practices

  • Physical and environmental factors:
    • shift work, long and/or irregular hours leading to fatigue and/or challenges in balancing work and family life;
    • isolated working patterns whereby employees are separated from family and friends;
    • poor occupational safety and health practices;
    • hazardous or dangerous work involving high risk of personal injury;
    • high risk job;
    • physical conditions of the workplace; and
    • demanding or unrealistic timeframes.
  • Job characteristics e.g. task complexity, poor job design, boring, repetitive or monotonous work; low job satisfaction; poor promotional opportunities and lack of job security.
  • Inadequate training and/or supervision.
  • Low group cohesion and work conflict with peers and/or supervisors.
  • Discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Workplace Controls

  • Availability of, or access to alcohol in the workplace.
  • Lack of workplace policies and procedures.
  • Management style and supervision levels e.g. lack of accountability and supervision, poor performance management and lack of consistent performance standards
  • Low visibility of workers e.g. working away from the workplace.
  • Organisational change e.g. restructure, job transfer and redundancy.
1

Allsop,S., Phillips, M., and Calogero, C. (2001). Drugs and work: responding to alcohol and other drug problems in Australian workplaces. Melbourne. Australia.

2

National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction.(2006). Responding to Alcohol and Other Drug Related Issues in the Workplace: An Information and Resource Package. NCETA, Adelaide, South Australia.

3

Pidd, K. (2005). Workplace culture and alcohol use. Of Substance, 3(1), 18-21.

4

Pidd, K. and Roche, A. (2013). Policy Talk. Workplace alcohol and other drug programs: What is good practice? Australian Drug Foundation.

Page last updated: 05 June 2020

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