With millions of people working from home during this COVID-19 mess, is it really surprising that nearly 1 in 4 Illinoisans are downing a drink or two during "business hours?"

The only surprise, based upon my unscientific poll of co-workers around here, is that the number is that low.

According to a poll I'm looking at, taken by alcohol.org, Illinois is running slightly behind the rest of the nation in at-home booze consumption during work hours. Their numbers put the national average at almost 33%, while here in Illinois the number is 23%.

After surveying 3,000 Americans who are working from home (or, away from their normal office environment), alcohol.org's numbers tell us that the number one choice of beverage for those drinking during work hours is beer. Over one-third of respondents say they're likely to drink more than their usual amount because of isolation. And, one-fifth of those surveyed said they stockpiled alcohol in anticipation of being locked down.

Our 23% of worktime drinkers pales in comparison to the state of Hawaii, where 67% of respondents admit to some business-hours elbow bending. That figure leads the nation.

Those least-inclined to have a couple of cold ones while working from home live in Arkansas. 8% of those surveyed say they do it.

So, if Illinois' number is 23 percent, let's see what our Midwestern neighbors are doing:

  • Wisconsin: 32%
  • Iowa: 47%
  • Michigan: 30%
  • Minnesota: 31%
  • Indiana: 26%
  • Missouri: 32%
  • Kentucky: 26%

With several lists over the years declaring Wisconsin to be the biggest drinking state in America, Iowa has got some explaining to do.


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