If there is anything that workers in the U.S. can agree on, it’s that even the most enjoyable jobs can be stressful on occasion. For this reason, many people have relaxation routines to help them unwind from the day. It could be meditation, a good meal, reading or even indulging in a glass of wine.
If you enjoy drinking wine, it can also be tempting to have a glass while working from home. After all, you’re in your house, so why not indulge?
The question is, should you?
There are a lot of considerations to take into account before making a final decision, starting with how office drinking has changed over the years.
Evolution of Office Drinking
Unless you’re into binge-watching shows set in the 1960s, it may surprise you to learn that drinking at the office was commonplace in the U.S. only a few decades ago. However, this trend started to decline in the ’70s and ’80s. If you ask office workers today about drinking on the job, many might be surprised that companies allow that at all.
Nowadays, being able to have a drink at work is considered a sort of benefit or perk to certain jobs. However, if you are considering indulging in such a perk, you will first need to make sure it is allowed for your current position. If you are working for yourself, then you will be the one to decide what’s appropriate for your work.
Benefits of a Glass of Wine
You don’t have to go far to find studies that outline the benefits of wine consumption for the body. Most conclude that of all the varieties, red wine is the healthiest choice due to its higher antioxidant content. Red wine contains polyphenols, namely anthocyanins, catechins and resveratrol. These appear to not only benefit the heart but also the brain and blood vessels.
In fact, red wine is thought to benefit gut bacteria, possibly reduce depression (when consumed in the right amount) and promote longevity. It is also important to note that consuming too much wine can also have the opposite effect and actually harm your body.
While there are certainly some recognizable benefits to drinking a small amount of red wine on an occasional or even daily basis, you can also find these ingredients in other foods. If you want the same benefits that red wine, try eating more of the following:
- Dark chocolate
Some people use a glass of wine to help them relax a little after a stressful day. While you should avoid using alcohol to “medicate” away your stress, an occasional glass is not necessarily harmful. However, there are a few risks you should keep in mind, along with job considerations and the boundaries you draw between your work and home life.
What You Need To Keep in Mind
As with any other drink or food, you should always approach your consumption of wine with care. Drinking too much can do more harm than good. Consuming more than a few glasses of wine each day can put you at a higher risk for cirrhosis of the liver, in addition to impeding your diet and making it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You should also consider your personal history with alcohol. Starting to drink wine daily may not be a good choice for those who are prone to alcoholism or who have been trying to avoid drinking alcohol for any reason.
Consuming too much wine could also make it difficult for you to focus on the task at hand, so you should also be aware of the time if you decide to indulge. On the other hand, many people do well and even thrive on drinking a single glass once in a while during the day.
Working from home also means your family is likely to have a certain amount of access to your office or workspace. Where you store your wine becomes an even more important decision when you have kids in your home. Alcohol should be kept safely out of the reach of underage children. If drinking during work hours is a huge temptation, you may also want to choose a storage place closer to the kitchen or basement rather than in the office proper.
Examining the requirements of your work-from-home job can also help you determine if you should drink a glass of wine. Are you running your own business from home? Are you working remotely for a business that has specific rules governing conduct and drink consumption during work hours?
If you work for yourself, you can set your own rules, but if your job includes answering to a boss somewhere else, there could be restrictions on what you’re allowed to do during work hours, even in your own home. In fact, many companies have an alcohol consumption policy laid out in their handbook. Some companies do not allow any drinks during the workday while others may allow one.
There are also tasks to keep in mind if you do decide to indulge in a mid-day drink. Do you have any virtual meetings or calls scheduled for the day? Are there any tasks on your to-do list that will take all of your focus to complete? In general, it is a good idea to wait until the work is done and you’ve clocked out before drinking any alcohol. Whatever your reason for working from home, it is important to exude professionalism, particularly if you will be interacting with clients, vendors or coworkers in any capacity.
Boundaries Between Work and Home Life
Part of successful working from home is setting a clear boundary between your workspace and your personal space. If you used to work in an office environment, it can feel strange at first to bring your daily work habits into your home. Having boundaries can help you shift mentally between work mode and relaxation mode, as well as clear rules about what is and is not allowed in certain spaces. Here are some tips to help you with those boundaries and determining if a drink during the workday is appropriate:
Decide what hours you will be working and stick to them. When you step into your office, you should be ready to work. You can help facilitate this mindset by getting dressed before you start working. Likewise, when you reach the end of your workday, clock out and leave your work in the office. Avoid answering work calls and emails outside of your work hours unless your job necessitates it for some reason.
If you normally have a drink after getting home from work, then a drink while working could throw off your rhythm.
A Personal Decision
In the end, whether you choose to indulge in a glass of wine while working from home is up to you alone. It’s vital that you weigh the pros and cons of having such a drink. Is it going to interfere with your ability to do your job? If you aren’t working for yourself, will your boss or supervisor object to the drink? How do you feel personally about taking a drink during the day while working? If you’re comfortable with it, then drinking a single glass of wine while on the job may be all right. While work policies should be taken into account, the decision ultimately rests with you.