Tayla Foster

Let’s face the cold hard truth – we have all reached that point in the day, where 5pm is still sorely out of reach, the constant cycle of floating numbers and emails. The bland office humour has you yearning for any source of relief, the idea of something. Suddenly your heart begins to lift when your co-workers suggest the local pub or bar for lunch. With a swift close of the computer and swipe of the handbag, you’re off. Whilst you scale through the drink’s menu past the sauvignon blanc, spirits and selection of beers, your eyes centre on the espresso martinis, lychee-based cocktails and the impressive range of mojitos. You battle your rational mind to just order one to get you through the rest of the day, but will it work?

Having a drink or two with colleagues at lunch time greatly boosts workplace morale and is often viewed as a bonding exercise between new and pre-existing staff members. But there is a fine line between distinguishing what is acceptable and what is harmful.

Studies have shown that the consumption of alcohol depresses the conscious mind into a state of euphoria and whilst this might be fun on a night out, it greatly decreases the productivity and safety of office staff within the workday. Alcohol releases a person from their sober state and secretes the produced chemical of serotonin throughout the body, explaining the excessive giggling and smiles during the depressed state of euphoria.

Alcohol is the leading depressant of all substances within Australia, and not to mention the most vastly consumed product. When under the influence of alcohol, it is easy to believe that you are in complete control and can have “just one more drink.” However, that is the depressed state of your being telling your rational mind to stop at the risk of your safety, productivity and in some cases, your employment. The consumption of alcohol to the point of intoxication means that the individual will not have the ability to focus on a task at hand and often will not return to their workday. Try explaining that one to the boss! Whilst one or two lunchtime cocktails can be fun, be sure to know your body and know your limits.