High At Work

Now that 29 states have approved marijuana use, I wondered how it’s affecting job performance? Are remote workers staying focused? Or does their home office resemble a Cheech & Chong movie?                                                                

There’s not much research on the subject, beyond the obvious. If you’re an air traffic controller, Uber driver or operate a chainsaw, it’s best to be sober.

That said, a recent study asked 1,000 people about getting high at work. Respondents ranged from 18 to 75, with one in six admitting to smoking weed during business hours. That’s a 60% increase over the last five years, surely boosted by the pandemic.

To determine the change in productivity, workers rated themselves. Some were undoubtedly buzzed. So, the results are a bit…uhhh…fuzzy. Turns out that respondents get high on their breaks, citing the need for stress reduction, boosting creativity and to be more productive. Who got high most often? Hotel and hospitality workers. And while just 6% of health care workers get baked on the job, do you feel lucky?

Here’s my take. Now that marijuana is widely available, it’s become more socially accepted and settled in alongside booze, pain pills, anxiety and depression meds.

It’s one thing to show up at work feeling relaxed, and quite another to be wasted. But, companies can’t really question someone’s usage without opening many cans of worms. When two-thirds of Americans take prescription drugs, where should employers draw the line?

They can’t.

It all comes down to personal responsibility. What works for creative types may not for accountants. If you function as a responsible, professional adult, that’s fine. But if getting high means that you can’t play well with others and your work suffers…see ya.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347   

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