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.

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


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.


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


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

Page last updated: 20 July 2020

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