35% of men less productive at work due to hangovers compared to 18% of females, study finds

More than a third of male workers (35%) have gone to work with a hangover, which has significantly affected their productivity compared to 18% of females a new study has found.

Commissioned by Willis PMI Group, part of Willis Towers Watson, the survey questioned 1,197 workers and found that overall 28% of workers have gone to work with hangovers.red_wine_pouring hangovers

Furthermore, 11% of male workers said they do so on a regular basis, compared to just 4% of females.

“The health dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, from organ damage to a weakening of the body’s immune system, have been well publicised, but the impact of lost productivity to UK plc is often overlooked,” said Mike Blake, Director at Willis PMI Group.

“This study reveals binge drinking is costing British business dear and fires a warning shot across the bows of managers and HR departments. Employers would be wise to address the issue by reviewing their workplace culture and conditions to ensure they’re not inadvertently stoking the flames of alcohol misuse.”

According to the study 17% of 18-34 year olds have gone to work with a hangover, at least 30 times in the past 12 months. Only 5% of 35-64 years olds admitted to having done the same.

Of those questioned 26% of 18-34 year olds said they believe their employer contributes to unhealthy levels of drinking among staff.

Only 16 per cent of workers, however, said their employer offers health advice on alcohol consumption: “If businesses take steps to identify whether or not alcohol is causing a problem to their employees’ health and to business productivity they can then train managers, where necessary, to recognise problems and pinpoint trends,” added Blake.

“Tackling the drinking habits of employees can be challenging, but advice and guidance on attitudes towards alcohol and sensible drinking can be included in a company’s health and wellbeing strategy.”

“Support and interventions, such as EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) services, can help employees with alcohol-related problems.”

However, alcohol was found to have less of an impact on the workplace productivity of older workers. 1% of 55-64 year olds were found to regularly go to work with a hangover and 90% said they never attend work hungover.

Kayleigh Bateman
About the author

Kayleigh Bateman is the head of digital content and business development at WeAreTheCity. As a journalist there she covers stories about women in IT and looks after its women in technology community. She was previously the special projects editor for Computer Weekly and editor of CW Europe. Kayleigh attended the University of Hertfordshire, where she studied for her BA in English literature, journalism and media cultures. You can contact her at [email protected]

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