Last year, insurance market Lloyd’s of London made headlines for banning staff from drinking alcohol during working hours. Following an analysis of disciplinary procedures, the firm decided to prohibit their employees from drinking between 9-5. Whilst the move was to ensure the workplace was in line with the ‘modern’ and ‘high-performance culture’ the firm wanted to embrace, according to an internal memo, reactions to the decision were split. Many described the move as heavy-handed - one worker compared closing the deal in a pub over a pint equivalent to having a glass of wine at lunch - with the insurance sector’s proclivity for alcohol as a social lubricant, harmless.
Yet, this move, alongside a more concerted effort towards wellbeing at work, doesn’t mean Britain’s professional drinking culture has sobered up – not yet anyway. A recent report from think tank Demos found excessive drinking cultures persist across UK industries, from law to construction, with 40% of young workers citing that the drinking culture at their work is important. In fact, a separate survey from Willis Towers Watson found that nearly one in five employees (17%) think that their employer contributes to unhealthy levels of drinking among staff. Although not widely researched, another sector perceived as having a thirst for booze, is recruitment. Lysha Holmes, Consultant and Owner of rec2rec firm, Qui Recruitment, agrees, saying that during her career, successes have always been linked to alcohol.