Industries most likely to allow drinking on the job, ranked

• Banking and real estate are the most tolerant of alcohol and drug use, according to a new survey
• Some sectors, like health care, are more strict because of the demands of the job
• Even if your company doesn’t have strict policies, drinking on the job could still lead to termination

Drinking or getting high on the job is more common in some jobs than others — and employers don’t always have a problem with it.

While partaking in these activities isn’t necessarily a crime in itself, doing so during work hours may be a quick way to find yourself without a job. That even applies to working from home, where you could face the same penalties as if you were caught in the office, because you’re using company property, such as a work computer.

But new research conducted by found that employers in banking and real estate are the most tolerant industries for alcohol and drug use in the workplace, while sectors like health care and public service, unsurprisingly, were less lenient.

The survey, which interviewed 3,700 employers about how tolerated drug use was at work, highlighted trends in the workplace that seem to reinforce stereotypes about which professions work hard and play harder.

Pot use has increased since the start of the pandemic, and drinking, too, has seen a rise

Don’t drink or use drugs if you work at these jobs

Certain fields will not tolerate drug use at all because of the nature of their work. Public service, charity, and health care all ranked as the least tolerant of drug use, which makes sense because they involve regular interactions with customers, volunteers, and patients.

Other careers that weren’t keen on under-the-influence employees included energy, engineering, IT, pharmaceuticals, and law, according to the study.

From a state-by-state perspective, employers in Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, and Virginia were least lenient toward intoxication. Employers in states like Connecticut, Maine, and Nebraska were much more willing to allow it.

The most permissive industries, ranked

  1. Banking
  2. Real Estate
  3. Education
  4. Retail
  5. Technology
  6. Advertising
  7. Media
  8. Hospitality
  9. Law
  10. Tourism
  11. Pharma
  12. Engineering
  13. Energy
  14. IT
  15. Healthcare
  16. Charity
  17. Public Service

You probably still shouldn’t drink even if your boss says it’s OK

Even if you know you can get away with a drink or two while working, studies have shown it doesn’t add up to pregame before happy hour. Drinking alcohol while working can affect your job performance, and your boss could easily catch on that something isn’t right.

“Because everyone is working from home, being able to drink and not have anyone see it could be a cause for increase,” Dr. Lantie Jorandby, chief medical officer of Lakeview Health addiction recovery in Florida, told Healthline.

And don’t think that your boss won’t notice you’re tipsy just because you’re on Zoom.

“It is important to note, however, that you can still be caught drinking at home on the clock,” Jorandby said. “Companies are switching to telework options like Zoom or GoToMeeting, and someone who is drinking too much while at home can appear intoxicated, even though the video camera on their computer, sometimes even missing a meeting or [being] seemingly disorganized on video calls.”

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