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Ep 11: Let’s Talk about Alcohol at Work with Tabbin Almond
Episode 1128th March 2024 • The Big Drink Rethink • Anna Donaghey
00:00:00 00:52:29

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Your host, Anna Donaghey, looks at the way in which businesses often fail to ‘do right’ by their employees - on the one hand encouraging a drinking culture, but failing to educate and provide adequate support when it is needed. She examines the threads that tie alcohol culture to the workplace, with this week’s guest, Tabbin Almond, a fellow coach in the process of writing her book ‘Bottling Up Trouble: How Alcohol is Holding Your Business Back and What to Do About It’. Together they discuss how alcohol remains absent from the vast majority of Wellness agendas, despite a clear commercial and logical argument for its inclusion.

This episode is more than just a conversation; it's a call to action for leaders, managers, and the workforce to foster a healthier, more supportive work environment for all. Take a listen to see how we can make talking about alcohol in the workplace less of a taboo.

Here are the highlights:

04:20 Encouraging conversation, breaking down workplace taboos.

07:10 Companies need to support employees more openly.

14:34 Leaders leading with a commitment to change alcohol myths.

18:36 Presenteeism: employees present but unproductive due to issues.

20:51 Alcohol's impact on productivity and relationships.

23:59 Pressure on fitting in and socialising at work.

28:25 Hope for the future, tolerance and self-respect are emphasised.

34:50 Shifting drinking culture to promote informed choices.

36:48 Encourage responsible partying for better relationships.

40:43 HR professionals promoting non-alcoholic workplace events and education.

48:38 Opening up workplace conversation about forward-thinking choices.

About Tabbin Almond

Tabbin had a long and reasonably successful career in advertising (where she used her ‘proper’ name of Katherine, rather than her nickname of Tabbin). She grew up in a family where alcohol was an intrinsic part of daily life, which turned out to be excellent preparation for a career in advertising. On joining a big London Agency in the mid-eighties, she took the long boozy lunches in her stride. And would then go on to the pub after work. And that was just during the week. Weekends were when the serious partying would happen. But over the years, her social / work drinking morphed into more hidden, solitary drinking. Not enough for anyone else to realise that she had a problem but certainly enough for her to feel that her relationship with alcohol was becoming increasingly unhealthy, affecting her work and her relationships and making her unhappy.

She tried various ways of giving up, including AA (short-lived) and hypnotherapy (much longer). But it wasn’t until she came across This Naked Mind that she found a method that really made sense her – she stopped thinking in terms of ‘giving up’ and focussed instead on the freedom she could now enjoy. 

Tabbin’s niche is helping people working in careers like advertising, media and law, where alcohol still plays a big role, whether it is in the form of client entertaining or after-work drinks. Alcohol is an addictive substance, so it is inevitable that its prevalence in our professional lives will lead to some people becoming addicted.  She has written a book called Bottling Up Trouble – how alcohol is harming your business and what you can do about it, which will be published in September 2024. She looks forward to the day when professional people do not have to make an excuse for not drinking! And when the shame and stigma around Alcohol Use Disorder is a thing of the past, so that people feel safe asking for the help that they need.

She is a breast cancer survivor (thank you NHS), and now lives in beautiful Devon where she is able to enjoy long walks on Dartmoor with family and friends. Her passions range from the zen (practicing yoga) to the rather less zen (watching Exeter Chiefs rugby).

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About the host Anna:

Anna is a certified Alcohol Mindset Coach, trained by Annie Grace of This Naked Mind. Drawing on her own journey out of alcohol addiction, she now helps others explore and control their drinking. With a career spanning 25 years as a Strategist in the Advertising industry, she combines her own lived experiences, with great insight into what makes us tick and what influences us to behave the way we do.

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