Work hard…work more?


A work hard, play hard mentality might be the norm for a university student, but in the workforce, “play hard” is more of an irresponsible drain on the economy than a necessary balance to working.

In Canada, alcohol consumption costs the economy around $7 billion a year in impaired productivity, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Getting wasted isn’t a constitutional right, so when you don’t show up to work the next day it doesn’t count as a sick day. Nor is a self-inflicted night of indulgence sufficient cause to get an extension on an assignment.

But evaluating the healthiness of our social drinking habits in GDP lost or gained is a very narrow way of looking at how our workforce functions.

Given the evidence to the contrary, it’s unrealistic to expect workers or students to function in a way that ignores the existence of their personal lives.

Our society’s “live to work” mentality allows little time for socializing — which often goes beer-in-hand with drinking.

Scheduling our lives as though we’re machines that can operate at peak efficiency for a set number of days a week isn’t healthy, nor apparently is it profitable.

If drinking to excess is so common that hangovers are simply inevitable, then maybe we need a better solution to our “impaired productivity” than a couple of Advils and a lackluster work ethic.

But students are going to have to figure out this balancing act now, because in a society that weighs dollars lost above fun produced, there’s little leeway for anything other than working.

— Journal Editorial Board

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