Workplace Wellness
2018 > Ongoing
#AwarenessRaising #StaffTraining


To provide employees with the facts about alcohol and its impact on health and wellbeing, so they can make informed decisions about their drinking.


Drinkaware was established in March 2016 as a health promotion organisation. Its vision is of an Ireland where alcohol is not misused, and its mission is to fundamentally and permanently change attitudes and behaviours to prevent and reduce misuse. Drinkaware works towards achieving its mission by raising awareness, creating understanding and supporting behaviour change through evidence-led education and effective communications. 

Alcohol’s impact on the workplace can be significant but not always acknowledged such as greater absenteeism, lower productivity and unsafe working conditions.

Encouraging wellness in the workplace is beneficial for both employees, who appreciate their wellness being considered, and employers, who recognise the business benefits in terms of productivity, recruitment and retention. Examples of possible benefits include:

  • Healthier employees
  • More engaged workforce
  • Reduced incidence of accidents/injury
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Positive wider social benefits

The Workplace Wellness Programme is an evidence-informed intervention that aims to reduce the misuse of alcohol by providing education and support within the workplace setting. The intended outcomes include increased knowledge of alcohol misuse and the Health Service Executive (HSE) low-risk guidelines, and intention to change behaviour. It was piloted in 2017 and launched in 2018.

Since every business is different, The Drinkaware Workplace Wellness Manager discusses the employers’ needs and works with them to create the right programme for the organisation. Employers can choose from different options to create the package that suits their employees. Options include: 

  • In person workshops: Interactive one-hour session featuring the key facts about alcohol and resources.
  • A staffed information stand: with information and resources.
  • Intranet content: Engaging seasonal content to help promote alcohol awareness throughout the year.
  • Webinars: Online and pre-recorded webinars cover subjects including alcohol awareness for parents, alcohol mental health and remote working.
  • Live/Bespoke webinars: Cover the topic of the employers’ choice.
  • Health promotion resources: Resources provide evidence-based information about alcohol, tools to make it easier to understand drinking habits and tips to make small, positive changes to drink in a less harmful way.  

In April 2020, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on workplaces, Drinkaware responded to the needs of employees and employers by creating a suite of online workplace wellness webinars. Three pre-recorded Workplace Wellness webinars were made available free of charge. Live and/or bespoke Workplace Wellness webinars, on subjects that covered mental health, sleep and the immune system were also created and delivered throughout the year. 

In 2021, many workshops towards the end of the year were postponed due to COVID-19. However, 2022 saw the return of manned information stands and live in person workshops.

In addition to reaching out to employers, Drinkaware also raises awareness in the programme by taking part in events such as the IBEC Keep Well Summit, by supporting the National Workplace Wellbeing Day, by exhibiting at summits and conference, and by publishing articles in the Keep Well Summit online magazine.


In 2022, 25 companies were engaged with, 13 webinars/workshops were held, over 260 attendees were reached, and three information stands were hosted.

In 2021, pre-recorded webinars were sent to 5 companies and achieved over 100 views. Drinkaware also delivered 12 live webinars across the year to various companies including SKY & Fidelity International. A manned stand was provided for St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Bus Éireann was provided with multiple resources for staff.

January to March 2020 (pre-Covid-19 restrictions): 900 employees were reached in person. 7 workshops were delivered and 9 information stands were held. Live and/or bespoke webinars were created for 13 interested organisations including the National Transport Authority and the VHI. Two Drinkaware Workplace Wellness newsletters were sent out to the 62 subscribers with an average open rate of 40%.

In 2019, 33 employee workshops were delivered, 63 other workplace events were facilitated, and 2 tailored webinars were delivered. 2,615 employees were reached nationwide. Educational workshops and promotion resources reached almost 40 diverse employer settings (including St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin Airport Authority, Boston Scientific, Accenture, Irish Rail, National Transport Authority and Bons Secours Hospital.

In 2018, 18 events across the country reached over 1,200 employees from employers that included Aer Lingus, Irish Rail, Aldi, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard. 

2017: Pilot with employees from Tesco Ireland, Aer Lingus and Jacobs Engineering.

Measurement & evaluation

Participant feedback: Workplace Wellness webinar attendees, Survey Monkey, 2022

  • Really useful presentation and good reminder of the effects of alcohol”;
  • “Effect on sleep and mood. Calories and sugar content. I stopped drinking on New Year’s Eve and am finding it easier now to navigate social events. I am substituting more chocolate though… another thing to get through! My partner joined me and was surprised at how much he learnt. Both of us drank way too much in the pandemic.”
  • “I found the presentation very informative and the questions in the Q&A were helpful too. Thank you to Jennifer for all her help and knowledge”.

Participant feedback: Workplace Wellness webinar attendees, Survey Monkey, 2021

  • “Great workshop, I thought I knew a lot about alcohol awareness, but I learned so much!”.
  • “Very informative, some great tips on avoiding social peer pressure to drink”.

Participant feedback: Workplace Wellness webinar attendees, Survey Monkey, 2019

  • “The workshop generated a lot of conversation afterwards around different aspects of drinking culture in Ireland, our individual drinking habits and really just made us think a little bit differently about how we interact with alcohol.
  • “The workplace wellness workshop challenged my current thinking about alcohol”.

The key results of a 2019 case study with Irish Rail found that: 

  • The percentage of staff who were able to identify the low-risk guidelines for maximum number of drinks per week doubled.
  • The percentage who could identify the correct number of standard drinks which constitutes binge drinking increased from 69% to 100%.
  • All staff stated that they would make small positive changes to their drinking following the workshop.

Evaluation of the Workplace Wellness Programme 2019 (base: 18 companies/111 participants)

  • 77% of participants noted that the content of the workshop ‘challenged my current thinking about alcohol’.
  • 98% agreed that they understand ‘binge drinking’ following the workshop.
  • 96% agreed that they will pass on some of what they have learnt to friends/family.
  • 99% agreed that the content/workshop was useful.
  • 74% agreed that they will use the Drinkaware resources provided to make small changes to their drinking habits.

Knowledge score of low-risk guidelines (1-10 scale rating where 1=no knowledge, 10=fully aware)

  • 4.5 BEFORE the workshop
  • 8.0 AFTER the workshop



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