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Over 60 percent of Japanese workers surveyed online said they believe drinking with colleagues is “unnecessary,” as the pandemic reduced reliance on alcohol drinks to deepen relationships.
Those who shun meeting up with work colleagues over drinks outnumbered those who support the practice for the first time since Nippon Life Insurance Co. began the annual survey in 2017.
Tomoki Inoue, a senior researcher at the NLI Research Institute, said many of those questioning the need to meet over drinks have risen, as they became unable to hold parties due to COVID-19.
He expects support for such sessions to grow again once the pandemic has died down.
In the survey conducted in October by Nippon Life Insurance Co. of 7,774 people, 36.9 percent of respondents said post-work drinks are “unnecessary,” while another 25 percent said such events are “somewhat unnecessary.”
The 61.9 percent combined figure is a 16.2 point increase from last year.
Only 11.1 percent said they see drinking with colleagues as “necessary,” while 27.1 percent termed the practice as “somewhat necessary.”
Of the 61.9 percent who shun drinking with colleagues, 36.5 percent said they had an aversion to needing to be attentive during drinking sessions, while 29.5 percent said such events were an “extension of work.” Another 22.2 percent said they “do not like alcohol.”
Of those who viewed the drinking sessions positively, 57.6 percent said it “closes the distance” with others and helps them “discover the true feelings” of colleagues. Meanwhile, 38.5 percent said it allows them “gather information,” while 33.6 percent answered that it helps “reduce stress.”