Virtual happy hour: Nearly half of remote workers admit to drinking during the workday

NEW YORK — For Americans working from home in 2020, it seems happy hour is starting a little earlier than usual. A new survey finds many people are nearly half of adults working remotely have secretly signed off early to have a drink.

The survey polled 2,000 Americans (approximately 800 of whom are over 21 and working from home) to examine the bad habits people are picking up during lockdown and the impact it’s having on their planning for the new year.

remote work bad habits

Forty-six percent of those working from home have clocked out early to pour themselves a drink at least once during their time in quarantine. Another 45 percent of these respondents have even admittedly taken the liberty of having an alcoholic drink during the workday.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of HOP WTR, the survey discovered that 53 percent of those polled have been drinking alcohol more frequently during lockdown.

Workers drinking more frequently while stuck home?

More than six in 10 employed respondents (1,400 people) shared that virtual happy hours with their co-workers has increased their alcohol intake during quarantine. Over half (52%) of respondents also said that they’ve felt the need to drink while watching the news this year and they average about four adult beverages each week.

It’s no surprise that six in 10 adults shared they’ll be trying to drink less for the remainder of 2020. The survey finds having a few extra drinks isn’t the only habit respondents have picked up during lockdown.

Two in five of all 2,000 respondents shared they’ve been snacking more and enjoying more comfort foods as quarantine continues. Americans have also been stress-eating an average of three times a week. Other bad habits picked up during this time included drinking too much caffeine (32%) and staying in pajamas all day (23%).

Running late to the home office

As each day drags into the next, it’s no surprise that one in 10 respondents working from home say it’s getting harder and harder to get out of bed during the workweek and often oversleep. This isn’t an issue exclusive to those working from home either, as 32 percent of all respondents say they just aren’t getting enough sleep during quarantine. With all of these bad habits adding up, 45 percent of the poll say they worry they’ll never be able to snap out of these routines.
remote work bad habits
“I was that statistic,” admits HOP WTR founder Nick Taranto in a statement. “I found myself reaching for one too many IPAs, putting on weight and waking up hungover more days than I could justify. I wanted to break the habit and when I couldn’t find The Healthy Alternative to Beer, I decided to go create it! I wanted something that pays homage to my favorite IPA, but rather than leave me with a cloudy head that night and the next day actually clears the brain fog because it’s packed with nootropics rather than booze.”

Starting over in 2021

As Americans look to the new year, seven in 10 respondents said they plan on starting 2021 with a clean slate to improve their health.

Some of the top goals for the new year include the go-to resolutions of exercising (53%), eating more fruits and veggies (51%), and meal planning (36%). One in five respondents over 21 add their top goal for 2021 is to drink less alcohol.

“2020 has been rough, so it’s no surprise alcohol intake has increased” Taranto acknowledges, “but, since this is going on longer than most of us imagined it would, and our levels of alcohol consumption aren’t sustainable if we want to remain healthy.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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