How To Navigate Workplace Alcohol Culture When You Don’t Drink


Alcohol and work often go hand-in-hand. In a place where there’s a high intensity and lots of stress, it’s not really a surprise that many people will head straight for the pub as soon as the clock strikes 5pm.

Of course, if you don’t drink, it can be quite difficult to navigate that. On the one hand you want to socialise with your colleagues and let off steam, on the other you don’t want to be pressurised into a pint.

There are many reasons why people don’t drink these days, whether it be a case of never having done so, to those that have sought out alcohol advice and dealt with potential addiction, and in the workplace it is less common these days that booze will be front and centre. But it is still there. So, how do you exactly navigate it?

Take control and offer alternate activities

First up, you could actually take control of the situation and offer up some alternate activities that don’t involve alcohol. That could be things like going bowling, ice-skating, arts and crafts activities, something that still involves being social, but without the need for alcohol.

What’s more, it’ll get other people out of a rut, doing the same thing each and every Friday, doing nothing but damaging their health.

Be clear that you don’t drink

Being open and honest with colleagues is key for a number of reasons. Firstly, if they know you don’t drink, they’ll be less likely to offer you alcohol if you do go to the pub with them, or if beers are being handed around in the office. 

Secondly, they’ll be more conscious of this and be more likely to offer up alternate activities to the pub, particularly if there are a number of people in the workplace that don’t drink.

Have clear boundaries yourself

If you do go out and you are worried that you may relapse or try alcohol when you don’t want to, being clear in your own mind about your own boundaries can be helpful. That might mean having a clear exit strategy, or having a support group that can ensure you don’t do anything you might regret. Similarly, being there for others can also be important. (Modafinil)

It’s essentially preparation, and being prepared for any emotions or temptations you may encounter will allow you to deal with them accordingly.


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