British businesses could be losing nearly £65 million due as a result of lost productivity following office Christmas parties.
Nearly one million workers have taken sick leave due to over indulgence at the office Christmas party. This adds up to nearly £65 million lost from the British economy because of office party hangovers, based on CBI calculations of absence costs, research from Norwich Union Healthcare suggests. In fact, over half of people have taken one day off and one in four people have to take two or more days off work following a work Christmas party due to over indulgence.
But despite the government’s call for people to live healthier lifestyles, the Christmas party spirit has not been dampened, as four in five workers said they will be indulging as much, or more than previous years. Party people expect to drink an average of 8 units of alcohol (equal to 8 glasses of wine or 4 pints), with the average man consuming 11 units.
However, when it comes to good behavior women may be watching their alcohol consumption and only plan to drink around half as many units as men, but they are more likely to phone in sick with a made up excuse. But over 50% of men questioned said they would tell their boss the truth.
Although three quarters of workers in the UK plan to attend one work party and half of workers are planning more than one party, the Christmas spirit has not reached 15% of workers who are not planning to party with colleagues.
Illness is a common excuse used by party goers who over do it, with six in 10 using the excuse of food poisoning, cold or migraine and another 10% claiming to have to nurse a sick relative. Other popular excuses include transport problems and waiting at home for the gas man or plumber.
Dr Doug Wright, clinical development manager at Norwich Union Healthcare, said: “For most of us staying in bed probably seems the best way to cope with a hangover. Sadly this may not be an option, so keeping up energy levels with regular food and fluids is the best way to get through the working day.
“Obviously the best way to avoid the dreaded hangover is to not drink too much at the party, but if you can’t indulge a little at Christmas when can you! Instead my best advice to avoid feeling rough the next day is to try to drink sensibly by limiting the number of alcoholic drinks you knock back and alternate with soft drinks.”