One in Ten Staff Take Drugs at Work
More than one in ten employees has taken illegal drugs whilst at work, research from LondonlovesBusiness has found.
The survey of 500 London-based managers also revealed that one third have witnessed colleagues taking drugs. Cocaine was the drug of choice for most, with 40 per cent of those taking drugs owning up to taking it. A fifth said they had taken Ecstasy.
According to the poll, peer pressure was one of the main reasons ― cited by nearly a fifth ― while 12 per cent said drug taking encouraged creativity. One in ten blamed their activity on the stress of the job.
Sophie Hobson, editor of LondonlovesBusiness, said the results were “startling”.
“The research highlights just how prevalent this issue is, which is particularly worrying with the Christmas party season just around the corner,” she said.
However, Federation of Small Businesses spokeswoman Sara Lee said that the risk of staff taking drugs in a small business was very small.
“None of our members has ever commented on the issue. It’s more likely to be a problem in larger firms.”
Hilary Jeanes, director at HR firm Purple Line Consulting said that business owners who were concerned that staff might be taking illegal substances needed to look out for unusual or erratic behaviour ― such as sudden mood changes, poor timekeeping and more serious incidents such as dishonesty and theft.
“If you’re worried about a particular employee, try talking to them. Find out if they need information or help but be very careful to protect their confidentiality.”
Employers also needed to have a drugs policy in place, added Jeanes.
“Set out what is prohibited, how staff are expected to behave and details of disciplinary procedures ― for example, you could state clearly that anyone caught in possession of illegal drugs will be reported to the police.”