Japan Data

A Third of Japanese Employees Admit to Driving for Work after Drinking the Night Before

Society Work

Going for drinks after work is a common practice in Japan and often results in participants overindulging, even when they know they will be driving the company car the next day. A survey looks at the frequency that employees drive for work after drinking the night before and reasons that workers drink too much when out with colleagues.

Driving for work despite having a few too many drinks the night before is not uncommon in Japan. This is according to a survey by weight and health monitoring device maker Tanita, who polled employees who occasionally drive a company car on whether they have ever gotten behind the wheel the day after a heavy night out. While the majority of respondents said they had never done so, 39.4% admitted they had, with 2.7% answering “often,” 19.3% “occasionally,” and 17.4% “once or twice.” Among all respondents, 50.3% described themselves as having a high tolerance for alcohol.

Have you ever driven for work after drinking too much the night before?

The survey also asked respondents about situations where they find themselves having too much to drink. Drinking with friends or acquaintances was cited by 45.4% of people polled, while 43.7% of respondents answered while attending a company’s year-end or new-year party.

When do you tend to drink too much?

Among the 228 people who said they had too much to drink at a company party, 52.2% answered they did so while attending an afterparty, 23.2% wanted to make the most of the opportunity to drink, and 18.4% cited the desire to feel more at ease. Around 30% of responses fell under the category of “alcohol harassment,” including respondents who were told that if they didn’t drink it would spoil the atmosphere (16.7%), were pressured by senior colleagues or supervisors (12.3%), did not have access to nonalcoholic beverages (7.5%), or were pressured into downing their drink in one go (7.0%).

Reason for Drinking Too Much

When asked if it was difficult to refuse alcohol when offered by a senior colleague or supervisor, nearly half of respondents, or 48.6%, said it was. The percentage was higher in sectors like finance and insurance (62.5%), wholesale and retail (55.0%), and manufacturing (50.4%).

Is it hard to turn down a drink from a senior colleague or supervisor?

The online survey was conducted in early April 2023, targeting 1,000 people in their twenties to sixties who occasionally drive a company car.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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