When an employer asks you to take a drug test as a condition of employment, you may look at the request as an unnecessary nuisance. In reality, you should view this as a positive that your company is concerned about keeping a drug-free workplace. A drug-free company offers its employees a number of benefits.
A February 2012 "Training" magazine article indicated that roughly 70 percent of drug users are employed. A drug-free workplace means company management actively works to prevent hiring drug users and provides clear policies and consequences against drug use. Along with screening employees before hiring, some drug-free workplaces have a zero tolerance for on-the-job or known drug use. Thus, if an employee is caught or reported as a drug user by another worker, she is immediately suspended or terminated, depending on policy.
A drug-free environment usually leads to greater safety for all employees. Colorado-based Peer Assistance Services notes on its website that drug-free workplaces typically have fewer instances of accidents and safety violence. When employees aren't under the influence of drugs, they are more likely to make logical decisions to follow safety guidelines and to react effectively when accidents occur. This is especially critical in manufacturing facilities or other workplaces where dangerous equipment, machinery and chemicals are used.
The attitudes of coworkers are more positive and the overall work culture is better in a drug-free workplace, according to the USA Mobile Drug Testing website. One reason for this is a lower level of absenteeism, meaning you don't have to cover for the missed work of drug-using colleagues. Additionally, focused, positive coworkers are often better to work with in teams and are more likely to support your efforts in a mutually beneficial work relationship.
You can also benefit financially in a number of ways in a drug-free workplace. First, employees will likely have less propensity for health issues or need for substance abuse programs. This can reduce group health costs, which may lead to increases in your salary, or at least a reduction in your portion of health premiums. Drug-free employers can also save on worker's compensation insurance, which frees up more money for employee compensation.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.