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Myth Busted: Getting Stoned After Work Does Not Impact Job Performance

The magical herb that is Cannabis has long been used by musicians and artists to enhance their creativity. But how does it affect the productivity of those with other careers and work responsibilities?

There are obvious reasons why being high at work can be a problem, but does a hit from the bong after a long day at the office affect employee performance and productivity the next day?

Thanks to a group of researchers from San Diego State and Auburn University, the “potheads are less productive” myth got busted.

Published in the Group & Organization Management journal, the study explored how using cannabis at different times of the day affected people’s ability to complete tasks and live up to their job requirements. It also focused on their behaviour toward colleagues and attitude toward their work.

The researchers asked  281 employees to disclose how often they used pot during their average workday, including two hours before and two hours after work. Supervisors were then asked to evaluate each employee on task performance, their behaviour towards co-workers and counterproductive work behaviour. 

After comparing each employee’s evaluations with their self-reported pot use to look for connections, researchers concluded that the use of Cannabis after work did not affect any of the measures of workplace performance.

The same, however, could not be said of those who used cannabis before and during work. The analysis showed it had a negative impact on their ability to carry out tasks, affected their concentration and reduced their ability to solve problems.

Interestingly enough, getting high before or during work also had a negative effect on citizenship behaviours focused on the organization, but not on citizenship behaviours towards other employees.

Those who used cannabis after work did not show any signs of reduced workplace performance, counterproductive work behaviour, or negative social behaviour. 

The study does not provide detail on how much cannabis was consumed by the participants. Nonetheless, it challenges stereotypes that label stoners as lazy and unmotivated.

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