With Halloween already passed and Thanksgiving right around the corner, workers across the country are beginning to gear up for (or dread) the time-honored celebration known as the holiday office party. Bringing together a group of people who already spend most of their waking hours in cooperative toil, even the best-planned office parties can fall flat without the perfect mix of fun and festivity. And for many, that combination of pleasures must include mind-altering substances, either provided by the company or imbibed on the sly.
In a recent survey of corporate Americans, 14% of workers said that they have gone to an office party while high on marijuana. And pot wasn’t the only drug used by office party revelers. Not to be outdone by a little weed, 10% of respondents said that they had gone to an office party while tripping on LSD or another psychedelic drug, while an equal percentage said that they had used cocaine.
The survey asked more than 1,000 employees in corporate America who had gone to an office party in the past year or were planning to in the upcoming year about their attitudes and participation in the festivities. Among the respondents, 10% were baby boomers, 23% were Gen X, 57% were millennials and 10% were Gen Z. By workplace, 56% worked in person, 23% worked remotely and 21% worked hybrid.
The survey was commissioned by Price4Limo, a limousine and charter bus booking company that arranges transportation services for partygoers and event planners across the country. Rachel Kirsch, part of the creative team for Price4Limo, says that the survey reveals the myriad ways workers have found to enjoy, or perhaps just make it through, the holiday office parties they attend each year.
“A successful corporate office party allows employees to relieve stress while they connect and bond. While some employees need help loosening up around co-workers, we found that alcohol was the most popular intoxicant, with 41% of corporate Americans imbibing at a company party,” Kirsch writes in an email. “Although less common, we also found that 10% to 14% of corporate Americans choose illegal drugs such as weed, cocaine and hallucinogens to help let loose in front of their co-workers.”
Booze Is The Go-To Office Party Intoxicant
As might be expected, alcohol was the most popular mind-altering substance used at company holiday parties. Among the respondents, 41% said that they had drunk alcohol at an office party, 22% had gotten drunk and 11% said that they had gotten so wasted they blacked out. A sizable chunk said mind-numbing substances were a requirement for office parties, with 43% saying consuming alcohol was necessary to make the experience bearable. More than a fifth (21%) said that both booze and drugs were necessary accouterments for a workplace shindig.
However, the fallout from all that consumption at office parties and resulting bad behavior can be severe when people don’t keep themselves in control. More than a third (35%) said that an office party had strained a relationship with a co-worker and a quarter (26%) of respondents had been reprimanded by a supervisor after one. Additionally, 12% said they had flashed someone at an office party, 11% had damaged company property and an equal number said they had broken a law. About a fifth (21%) ended up changing workplace teams after an office party, 17% said they had lost a client and 14% said they had been fired after a workplace celebration. The most common reasons for losing a job, based on respondents’ experiences, were dancing with a co-worker, flashing someone or kissing a client.
So remember, when it’s time for that holiday party at the office, you’re likely not to be the only employee getting your swerve on. But keep things in check, or you might have to find a different office to party at next year.