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Drinking while working remotely


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10 Working From Home Life Hacks 2021
10 Working From Home Life Hacks 2021

Does anyone who works remotely indulge in a glass of wine or a beer during work hours?

I don't because I wouldn't if I was in the office, plus I have to be super focused to do the job I have and being even slightly sloshed would be bad. 

But I keep seeing Facebook and Instagram posts where people mention having a drink or even post pics of the glass of wine or the cocktail they're enjoying while working from home. I think that's super risky, but I guess they don't care if their bosses see they're drinking on the job!

I have laid (lain?) down for a quick catnap when I'm suffering from insomnia and I do chores like laundry or washing dishes or dust mopping the floor during work hours but only if I have down time. And if an assignment comes in I stop whatever chore I'm doing and do the work task.

So does anyone have a little drinky poo during work hours? Maybe take a few puffs 😉?

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Hmm not exactly from home. I work remotely, and once I decided to co-work with a friend from a restaurant. We had some wine🍷. I could barely do one glass cause I wanted to be focused, but my friend had at least two. She's more tolerant I suppose.

That was my only time, and I'm not tempted to do it again as I just want to have a clear mind while working.

I think it should be discouraged, because people wouldn't be drinking at an office. But, it's very hard to control/know whether people are doing it or not while WFH.

I think, as HR myself, if I learn an employee has been drinking somehow regularly during work hours, they'd have a talk with me and I'd hint at disciplinary action so they know there are consequences ("If this occurs again, you'll be given a written warning"...)

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I work from home as a freelancer. And with the "flexible" working hours. That means that they can request some stuff at any time, even at the evening if I am available to do it. Lots of clients are USA-based so there is a time difference. So it might even be at evening hours. Few days ago I had to coordinate something with the client at 11pm my time. Admittedly, I could maybe do it in the morning but at the morning I had more work obligations so I opted to do it then. So unless I dedicate the time where I can relax and drink with friends (I am a social drinker so I rarely even drink at home alone) like in town or at the gatherings, and where I dont worry about the work later, it makes it very inconvenient for me to even drink at all. Its not a huge deal as basically nobody see me(its message based mostly) but I dont like it as I dont have some huge need to drink and think there is a time and place for that. Watched the game of European football with friends few days ago for example. So I could drink a few beers to relax then. But at home when I have work, no. 

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8 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

I wouldn’t , nope. Not to mention I can’t due to the nature of my work at home. I would like to some days 🫣🤣 but no. 

I wouldn't imagine you would since you're in charge of children!

But maybe after they've all gone home for the day!

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Hello Bolt and All!

I plead guilty with an explanation.

I live east coast, also dealing with west coast. Sometimes west coast has needs that I'd prefer to meet same night rather than postpone, even if that means running some stuff in the background during a planned virtual cocktail hour with friends.

This was something we started during lockdown but have continued, as we are geographically scattered.

Maybe this is called working while drinking remotely?

As an aside, my best grad school work was started on screwdrivers, then edited the next day.

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No (but I've never been drunk, either) - interesting question!  I wonder if working while feeling unwell/very tired (not hungover I just mean -tired-), or suffering from covid or flu or shingles vaccine side effects is then also an issue?  This is why I like your question -because the potential effects -feeling disoriented/tired/focus not as sharp -is similar to working under what I mentioned.  I guess it's the contrast of unwell vs choosing to be "unwell".

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My question is actually about drinking alcohol or using mind altering substances during work hours rather than feeling sick or lacking sleep. 

It just amazes me when I see social media posts of people blatantly drinking alcohol and stating they're doing it while they're working at home. And posting pics! I guess they're not worried about any repercussions from their employers.

But maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy stick in the mud and it's just something people do these days.

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I see people post a lot of crazy stuff but then again, a lot of it seems to be "friends only" so maybe they are trusting that the boss won't see it, especially if they don't friend anyone that they know at work? Still risky, I know, but less so. 

Full disclosure, it would depend on my job. Maybe if I worked a call center type job, one in which I followed scripts and I felt like I could do it brain dead, and if having a drink wouldn't interfere, then maybe I would, sure. 

However, while I can do current job remotely, there's no way in hell I'd use mind altering substances because I'm taking care of patients. Risky and not right, ethically speaking. 

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51 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

My question is actually about drinking alcohol or using mind altering substances during work hours rather than feeling sick or lacking sleep. 

It just amazes me when I see social media posts of people blatantly drinking alcohol and stating they're doing it while they're working at home. And posting pics! I guess they're not worried about any repercussions from their employers.

But maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy stick in the mud and it's just something people do these days.

Nope, you're not a fuddy duddy, just smart. People harm themselves with social media all the time. 

If any of those drinkers end up fired, the irony is that they probably could have gotten away with it--but their own posts brought them down.

Its like double layers of stupid.

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One thing I know for sure, nothing on social media is private. Sure, you could post it to your friends only but what's to stop one of them from sharing the post? And anyway, employers can get through and see your posts no matter if you think you're hiding them. 

One of my former managers thought her posts were all private but we saw them. TONS of partying and drinking posts. Not during work time, though, so no disciplinary action needed to be taken.

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9 hours ago, boltnrun said:

My question is actually about drinking alcohol or using mind altering substances during work hours rather than feeling sick or lacking sleep. 

It just amazes me when I see social media posts of people blatantly drinking alcohol and stating they're doing it while they're working at home. And posting pics! I guess they're not worried about any repercussions from their employers.

But maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy stick in the mud and it's just something people do these days.

I understood your question and to me it's related to being in a mind-altered state due to illness and choices that are made about that - mind-altered meant loosely- if your question is more whether people care about the impression it gives when they post photos that's a different question.  I thought -and others who answered got the impression it seemed- that you meant whether a person can perform their job when drunk or stoned.  Seraphim wrote for example that as a caregiver and teacher and business owner no of course she cannot.  

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8 hours ago, boltnrun said:

One thing I know for sure, nothing on social media is private. Sure, you could post it to your friends only but what's to stop one of them from sharing the post? And anyway, employers can get through and see your posts no matter if you think you're hiding them. 

One of my former managers thought her posts were all private but we saw them. TONS of partying and drinking posts. Not during work time, though, so no disciplinary action needed to be taken.

Completely agree. I always assume it's public. I don't post photos or publicize what I'm doing etc - also even vacation photos may give a bad impression to an employer especially if it doesn't match up as in "I have to go visit my sick Aunt" when the photos are of margaritas at a seafood restaurant lol. 

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No. But I also work  an industry where the boozey lunch is not unheard of. So while I haven't partaken while working at home,  I have come back to office (after lunch) tipsy. lol

I just stayed in my office and kept to myself until it wore off.  Employees may not be in trouble for drinking, but behaving drunk would be a problem.  So one has to be able to handle it and keep appearances up which is not easy for everyone. 

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Interesting thread!

 

I personally think it depends on the work and the person. In law; there is so much networking, so many client lunches, it’s practically expected. If you are a Doctor or working with children like Seraphim - no!

 

I also think some people just work better loose - be it with booze and cigarettes or other. Christopher Hitchens, who was a famous editor for Vanity Fair and author, always wrote late at night and heavily boozed up. People in artistic fields obviously march to the beat of their own drums more often than not, and do what they like whilst “working”.

 

My husband used to manage a call centre. The job was all cold hard sales. It was mind numbing and completely soul destroying, energy draining. People often went out to have a few at lunch, some even did cocaine often (watered down Wolf of Wall Street kind of life). Being hyped up makes you better at sales. Again, it was encouraged (and not by him by the way, but that is sales culture for you).
 

I have never drank on the job. I used to lapdance, was a stripper. Girls often would have a glass of wine in their hand when working or walking around the floor. You got offered and bought drinks all night long.  Quite a few of them did lines of coke. I’d have a red bull or a tonic water. I get drunk very easy, and it makes me pretty sleepy, so not a good boost for me. I’ve never done drugs, not even smoked pot.
 

A sit down office job, 9-5 and remote? That is a real grey area. It’s a grey area whether anyone should be even mopping their floor. This is company time and work time. But also, if you get the job done, and use it as your “break time” then… the argument stands, why not? 
 

Always drinking whilst working I think is reserved for the alcoholic. I worked with barristers at the law office I used to be at and most of them were, I would say, actual alcoholics, and also, drug addicts. At least one was a high functioning cocaine addict and I think heroine towards the end. Amazingly, he now works in Dubai so, whether he kicked his habit or not I will never know. He was, ironically, one of the best Barristers there and the most qualified. He did get sacked in the end regardless of how talented he was so, maybe there is the answer.

 

Better to be safe than sorry? If it feels kinda wrong or dubious or like maybe you shouldn’t be doing it, your gut is normally right. The odd cocktail on a lunch break? Nothing wrong with that in my opinion, again, depending on your job. But to be constantly boozing? I don’t think that’s good in any area. It’s self destructive. I think it rarely ends well.

 

No one is going to know if you have one g&t at home! I guess it’s whether you want to do this all the time, or with other colleagues. Will it just make you paranoid something is going to slip out? Or someone is going to tell on you? You know how work places can be.

 

Also, I agree with everyone else! Don’t post anything on social media you wouldn’t be happy with your boss seeing. I would even go as far as saying, just delete it unless you seriously need it. I haven’t had Facebook for about 8 years now and I have never missed it. My private life is private and I see my friends in real life and catch up with them there. If I want to find out about groups, I head down to the library with the kids or just talk to people word of mouth. Facebook to do with work always seems like a minefield. Colleges can always email or call you. 
 

But y’know, no one is gonna know about the odd cocktail during the day unless you told them. You’re not driving a crane are you! 
 

x
 

 

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4 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I understood your question and to me it's related to being in a mind-altered state due to illness and choices that are made about that - mind-altered meant loosely- if your question is more whether people care about the impression it gives when they post photos that's a different question.  I thought -and others who answered got the impression it seemed- that you meant whether a person can perform their job when drunk or stoned.  Seraphim wrote for example that as a caregiver and teacher and business owner no of course she cannot.  

Hey Batya,

 

I get where you’re coming from I think - you post a good question!

 

So many people preform jobs in less than great states. Too tired exhausted taxi drivers, pilots who have just had a massive argument with their spouse and aren’t thinking straight, stay at home mums trying to cross the road with four kids whilst she’s wired and sleep deprived, a potential for an accident. Half the work force is either exhausted, stressed, feeling under the weather or going through some kind of personal crisis.

 

I know a surgeon (he specialises in rectal surgery, yes, glamorous I know!) who is constantly smoking like a chimney, drinking whiskey like there is no tomorrow. I would not be surprised one bit if this guy sucks down a fag right before walking into the operating table with whiskey breath. He’s unhygienic, I’ve seen his house, it’s a pig sty. Can he do his job though? Yes, exceptionally well. 
 

It’s a big grey area, isn’t it. Winston Churchill got us through WW2 eternally gone on champagne, 4 hours sleep and endless cigars. He probably had terrible health, but the most amazing wit and mind and he was there for the nation, in all his unorthodox ways.

 

Would we all be better for 8 hours sleep, more greens and daily exercise? Of course of course of course! The reality is, countries are ran and the wheels of business kept turning by people who aren’t at their optimum. It’s a big grey area question. 
 

I’m sure when people sit down to interview someone, they don’t want to employ someone who is gonna booze through their lunch and slur their words by 3pm. Of course not. But people keep working and stay employed through all kinds of bad attitudes and altered states.

 

One of my old bosses at the law firm I worked at, was morbidly obese, a huge man, extremely tall as well, but so depressed. He just seemed even suicidal. He had completely given up and all his passion was gone. He was always sulking into the office after a night spent sleeping in some other room because his wife had kicked him out of their bed. He was complaining constantly and always so so negative. It affected everyone in the office. We all felt bad for him, but somehow, he still managed to do his job and do it well. 
 

I don’t often think this but I don’t think there is a clear cut answer on whether you should drink on the job. Maybe the answer would be - can you still do your job? And, if the answer is yes, then maybe, no problem. As long as it doesn’t become an addiction or hinderance for the person drinking. 
 

I don’t often sit on the fence but I am on the fence here!

 

I would say Bolt, if you want to enjoy a drink whilst working do it as long as you can function, it isn’t habitual and you don’t post it on social media or, tell anyone else you work with, because as others have said, it could get used against you!

 

x

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I won't ever drink during work hours. It's not a matter of whether or not I would get caught. It's just not something I want to do. It feels wrong to me.

The remote work culture is new to a lot of people. In the industries I've worked in, working from home was a rarity (and in a lot of cases an impossibility such as construction) so I think a lot of people aren't sure what the protocols are. But I wouldn't pour myself a glass of wine at work so I won't do it here. But as I said, I do chores during down time, but I've been known to clean my work area while I'm in the office and have some down time. I'll also walk a few laps around the office if I want a pick me up or just want to get out of my office for a bit.

I was just curious to see what others think and if they imbibe while on the clock. No right or wrong answers!

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29 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I won't ever drink during work hours. It's not a matter of whether or not I would get caught. It's just not something I want to do. It feels wrong to me.

The remote work culture is new to a lot of people. In the industries I've worked in, working from home was a rarity (and in a lot of cases an impossibility such as construction) so I think a lot of people aren't sure what the protocols are. But I wouldn't pour myself a glass of wine at work so I won't do it here. But as I said, I do chores during down time, but I've been known to clean my work area while I'm in the office and have some down time. I'll also walk a few laps around the office if I want a pick me up or just want to get out of my office for a bit.

I was just curious to see what others think and if they imbibe while on the clock. No right or wrong answers!

Sure thing, I don’t think there is a clear right or wrong!

 

If it feels wrong for you and you think it wouldn’t be acceptable then I totally agree - don’t do it.

 

Most the people I know or mingle with due to my husbands work all work at home and then do spates of work working away, but they are all mostly self employed, and always home, and have been for 20 years, the pandemic didn’t change that for them. So they do what they like during the day and night, as long as calls get made and business goes on.

 

As you say, really does depend on the work.

 

All the working class guys I know, the labour intense jobs - they all just hit the pub after work. They clock off 3pm and clock out of the bar 1am - ha!

 

x

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I guess… could I say I “work from home” raising three kids, one a baby? Yes, maybe! Although I don’t class it as work, I’m obviously not employed, just a “lady of leisure” for 6 years now.

 

I don’t drink hardly ever, never “on the job!” But I go in hard with the caffeine. I need to cut that back. I know other mums who have their glass of wine or two after the kids go to bed - fair play! It’s just not me. Now and then I have a random cocktail or an Irish coffee before bed, depends on the mood. 
 

Working remotely sounds a bit like a minefield. As you say, what are the rules now? So many people pick up their kids, do chores, make personal phone calls, nap, surf the internet, food shop, have their hair cut, all in that time. If I was their boss, I wouldn’t be happy with that at all! But they get away with it! So who am I to judge! Ha! 

 

x

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You absolutely do work. It bugs me when people think a stay at home parent just lounges around taking long baths and drinking wine. I couldn't take naps even while mine napped because I had to do laundry and clean and fix meals. It's not easy, not one bit.

I do appreciate the ability to work from home. Do I take advantage? Yes, I do. I wouldn't be posting on this forum or reading a book or doing laundry in the office. But I get my work done and it's accurate and correct and done well within the time frame it's needed. And I'm not drinking or taking off for two hours in the middle of the day to go to a hair appointment or shopping online with my work laptop. 

The things I see people posting on social media though! It's kind of mind blowing.

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I think if someone is working for an employer or for clients or customers and works better "looser" as Lolita mentioned I think it is that person's responsibility to loosen up without alcohol or illegal drugs or find another line of work.  I find I work better because I work out in the morning -it wakes me up, gets my brain working, endorphins, etc.  But I don't do that "for work" it's just a benefit of working out.  

I can see where someone who works for herself like as an artist etc has more room to self-medicate to be "looser"

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

A sit down office job, 9-5 and remote? That is a real grey area. It’s a grey area whether anyone should be even mopping their floor. This is company time and work time. But also, if you get the job done, and use it as your “break time” then… the argument stands, why not? 

You raise a good point here that I'd like to discuss. Ever since lockdown, 9-5 is no longer a norm, it's more the exception--at least in the northeast USA.

While I guess it can depend on a firm's culture or the nature of one's job, an elongated day just kinda morphed out of many factors. For some of us it works fabulously to go from 'balancing' work and life to 'blending' the two.

So, sure, I'll mop a floor or clean a bathroom or run an errand during the day, even while I know that I'll be at work long past 7 or 8 to manage something specific with peers in another time zone at night.

While this is leftover stuff from the lockdowns, many of us discovered that blending increases our productivity--especially with the elimination of transition time (commuting, packing up lunches and work product, dressing more formally, etc.), and so we've kept this flexibility in place.

However, I realize that this does NOT work well for everyone. Some people really need exact start and cutoff times, and I can appreciate why running the vacuum wouldn't figure into their work hours.

 

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50 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

You raise a good point here that I'd like to discuss. Ever since lockdown, 9-5 is no longer a norm, it's more the exception--at least in the northeast USA.

While I guess it can depend on a firm's culture or the nature of one's job, an elongated day just kinda morphed out of many factors. For some of us it works fabulously to go from 'balancing' work and life to 'blending' the two.

So, sure, I'll mop a floor or clean a bathroom or run an errand during the day, even while I know that I'll be at work long past 7 or 8 to manage something specific with peers in another time zone at night.

While this is leftover stuff from the lockdowns, many of us discovered that blending increases our productivity--especially with the elimination of transition time (commuting, packing up lunches and work product, dressing more formally, etc.), and so we've kept this flexibility in place.

However, I realize that this does NOT work well for everyone. Some people really need exact start and cutoff times, and I can appreciate why running the vacuum wouldn't figure into their work hours.

 

I appreciate this conundrum catfeeder!

 

I like the structure of working in an office and wearing a suit… or; did! I needed it personally because I am so all over the place and unstructured that having something imposed on me like that works, because if not; I don’t have the self control to stick to anything! I am, if you believe in Myers Briggs personality types, a typical ENFP! Very easily distracted, hard to finish one task! 
 

It’s great it works for more people x

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

I appreciate this conundrum catfeeder!

 

I like the structure of working in an office and wearing a suit… or; did! I needed it personally because I am so all over the place and unstructured that having something imposed on me like that works, because if not; I don’t have the self control to stick to anything! I am, if you believe in Myers Briggs personality types, a typical ENFP! Very easily distracted, hard to finish one task! 
 

It’s great it works for more people x

I know what you mean. I worked as a hybrid consultant for about 10 years. I'd do my focused writing work at home, and I'd go in for meetings or cooperative work. 

Then I managed projects on site, and I finished my degrees on nights and weekends. For years I only slept at home, all else was commuting, class or work time, often with employers who encouraged homework and studying on their sites and on their dime.

My last 15 years pre-Covid were spent on site, thankfully with only a short commute.

So the completely remote work during lockdown was a huge adjustment, and I did take up drinking more often than I ever had before. Virtual socializing started promptly at 5 with most groups, even while my workload covered the jobs of furloughed coworkers lasting up to midnight sometimes.

So I mixed drinking with working at night pretty often. That has settled down to a few times a month along with my workload reducing to manageable hours.

Eighty % of my company had been furloughed, and we all feared the demise of the company altogether. Turned out, Covid was a boon to it, so anxiety drinking fell to the wayside. These days I plan drinking carefully because it puts me to sleep.

I am old! 🙂

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