Norwegians employed in urban private companies drink most: research

A recent research showed that Norwegians working in a private company in a city are more inclined to drink alcohol than people employed by a public company in rural areas, newspaper Aftenposten reported Saturday.

The research, made by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and based on data collected annually through a questionnaire for a wide range of Norwegian employees, built around topics such as employees’ alcohol use and attitudes to alcohol use in a job context.

“The incidence of drinking during working hours is twice as high in the private sector compared to the public sector. There is also a larger share of employees in the private sector who state that they get clearly intoxicated by alcohol consumption in a work-related context,” said Inger Synnove Moan, senior researcher at FHI.

Moan also found that inefficiencies at work due to alcohol overconsumption were more prevalent in private than in the public sector.

“Work-related drinking is partly an urban phenomenon,” she added.

According to the research, although managers more often drink alcohol, they still have a more restrictive attitude to getting drunk in a work-related context than employees without managerial responsibilities.

While so called work-related drinking and negative consequences of alcohol use rarely occur among employees in health and care industries, they are most frequent among employees in the research, banking/finance and telecommunications/IT sectors.

The research also showed that more than 1 in 10 Norwegian employees experienced drinking press in a work-related context and just as many people said that they did not go to social events because of alcohol use and because of the fear of being excluded because of alcohol consumption.

“It should also be mentioned, however, that in the survey from 2016 we found that over 30 percent of employees believed that alcohol contributed to strengthening the working environment and that alcohol plays an important role in network building. Alcohol is thus not experienced exclusively as negative for Norwegian employees,” Moan said.