It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

At-Home Happy Hour: The average U.S. employee working from home starts drinking at 4:36 p.m.

  • West Virginians start drinking the earliest at 3:24 p.m., while Hawaii residents wait until 7:30 p.m.
  • More than 1 in 10 find they experience more hangovers now than before lockdown.
  • 14% of people believe alcohol sales should be banned during lockdown.
  • Interactive infographic included.

Now that many of us are working from home, celebrating the end of the workday with co-workers is no longer possible. In pre-pandemic times, going out for a couple of drinks after finishing off that spreadsheet or attending that end-of-day PowerPoint presentation was the norm. However, now that all tasks are virtual, some may determine there are less obstacles in the way to hinder drinking earlier on in the day.

Alcohol.org, a resource for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, conducted a study of 3,300 workers who are currently working from home to find out how their drinking habits have changed during lockdown.

Boozy Business: It was found that the average employee working from home has their first drink of the day at 4:36 p.m. Broken down across the country, it was found West Virginians have their first drink earliest in the day at 3:24 p.m. Comparatively, Hawaii residents start drinking the latest in the day at an average of 7:30 p.m.

To find out the time of day each state has their first drink, view the following interactive infographic:

Many people prefer to keep business and pleasure separate and choose to drink only on weekends. However, now that weekdays and weekends seem to blur together, 1 in 5 people who previously drank only during the weekends say they now drink during the week. Broken down by gender, 25% of men admitted to this compared to 23% of women.

An increase in drinking often means an increase in hangovers, and 1 in 10 people (15%) confess to experiencing more hangovers during lockdown than before it started.

For many, the reason they are drinking more during lockdown could be because they may think it’s easier to conceal a hangover from work colleagues. When you aren’t dealing with co-workers face-to-face, and if you have no video calls scheduled for the day, hiding a hangover can seem simple as you won’t have to personally interact with anyone.

For those choosing to drink, it can be easier to cope with hangovers during lockdown – in fact, 37% of respondents agree with this. This is because they are in the comfort of their own home, they’re able to sleep it off for longer, and they have easy access to water and snacks to get them through the day. It also means they don’t have to commute anywhere or face colleagues directly.

Some countries have prohibited alcohol sales during lockdown, and 14% of respondents believe the same should be done during this period. Others did not share that sentiment – nearly the same amount of respondents (12%) said they had stockpiled alcohol in case availability was limited.

‘If you find yourself reaching for a drink more often than usual, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol,’ says Dr. Lawrence Weinstein from Alcohol.org. ‘Monitoring alcohol consumption is always recommended, but it is especially important during this period as it is very easy to overindulge in the comfort of your own home, and can quickly become problematic.’

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