Repeated delays, drowsiness in the office, negligence, inappropriate behavior, irritability … What reaction to adopt against a colleague, leader, or collaborator suffering from one or more addictions? This taboo issue is the daily lot of a significant number of French, according to the latest study * of GAE Conseil (s)specialist in the prevention of addictive work practices), published this Wednesday, November 6th. 44% of respondents believe that addictive practices in their workplace are common. A perception that is more prevalent in certain sectors (eg transport, construction) and for employees with physically demanding jobs and the most modest incomes.
If this problem seems common, nearly three quarters (70%) of the respondents feel ill-informed on the way forward to address frontally this complex subject encroaching on both the professional and personal sphere. Is it better to prefer an individual interview with the person concerned (approved by 77% of respondents), to contact his / her family directly (as would 57%), to call on the supervisor, the occupational medicine, the human resources department? Many do not like the problem and manage the impact of this addiction over the water rather than breaking the ice. “The dependent person is the one everyone is talking about in the company but to whom we no longer speak”, summarizes well GAE consulting in the booklet published on the occasion of the publication of the study.
The key role of the employer
However, several levers and relays exist inside and outside the company to alert and prevent addictive behaviors that can represent a real business risk (accident, injury, loss of strategic documents …) for the person concerned as members of his team. The change in the matter can only be driven by the directions through better information of employees on possible remedies and referrals to contact. It can also involve the distribution of self-assessment tests for risky behaviors, free testing of addictions, access to teleconsultation, participation in special operations (eg, months without tobacco), sensitization of managers , setting up a hotline or banning the use of alcohol in the workplace.
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So many small actions that would allow if not stop, at least fight against this scourge of public health that goes well beyond the office. According to the Ministry of Health and Solidarities, “the consumption of psychoactive substances is responsible in France for more than 100.000 deaths preventable by accidents and by diseases, of which nearly 40.000 by cancers”.
* Methodology: The study “Looks of French employees on addictive practices in the workplace” for GAE Conseil, was conducted online. The interviews were conducted from 16 to 20 September 2019 with a sample of 1001 employees of public and private companies with more than 10 employees, representative of French employees aged 15 and over, constituted according to the quota method, at the criteria of gender, age, sector of activity, type of employer and size of enterprise.