By Max Clarke
The office Christmas party season will be in full swing this week, with 65% of workers attending on average two work events over the next few days. However this revelry will cost the UK economy £620 million, due to hung-over Britons pulling a 'Hangover Sickie'- according to new research out today by Travelodge.
The poll of 6,000 adults revealed British workers predict that their productivity will halve in the lead-up to Christmas. On average they will spend three hours and five minutes just staring into space; due to a raging hangover - after their annual Christmas party.
Further findings revealed despite the recession, over a third (38%) of UK businesses are paying for their employees Christmas party this year. Whilst 31% of respondents stated they are paying out of their own pockets for their Christmas bash this year.
(In 2009 - 45% of UK companies paid for their employees Christmas party and 25% of workers had to pay for their own Christmas party).
Over a quarter (26%) of British workers reported as a result of the stresses of 2010 they are more likely to get more drunk than usual at their Christmas party this year.
Employees will drink on average 7.3 units of alcohol at their Christmas party; men plan to drink an average of 9.6 units, nearly three times the recommended limit for men of 3 to 4 units per day. Women say they are likely to drink an average of 5.6 units -well over twice the recommended daily limit of 2 to 3 units.
Further research findings revealed a quarter of British workers have called in 'sick' due to a hangover even though one in ten callers were convinced their boss knew they were pulling a fast one. Only one in ten respondents stated they have been honest and told their boss they cannot come into work due to a raging hangover.
The top three illnesses Brits will use as a cover-up for a hangover in order to pull a 'sickie day are; they have got food poisoning, they have a 24- hour bug / virus or they are suffering from a migraine.
Hung-over workers should expect 'no sympathy' from colleagues as 30% of respondents reported they get annoyed, when a team member is off due to a self inflicted illness resulting from a 'night out'.
Worryingly 26% of respondents admitted to driving into work despite having a severe hangover and freely admitted that they could well be over the legal drink and driving limit.
Once at work, kipping is high on the agenda for 'fragile' workers as 46% of respondents admitted to a catnap at work after a 'big night out'. The top five locations for a sneaky kip at work are:
1. At the desk or under the desk
2. In the toilets
3. In the car
4. In the staff room / canteen
5. In the board room or stationery cupboard
A quarter of respondents also stated they have managed to drag themselves into work after a heavy night out and pretended to be sick, so that they could be sent home to bed to nurse their hangover.
The Travelodge poll also revealed the top remedies Brits take to combat a hangover in the workplace. The top five cures being:
1. Sneaky catnap at work
2. Full English breakfast
4. Coke Cola (full fat version)
5. Hair of the dog
Leigh McCarron, Travelodge Sleep Director said: "The office Christmas party is a longstanding British institution. After what has been a stressful year for many it's understandable; workers want to let their hair down this festive season. To ensure productivity levels remain high in the lead up to Christmas, it's vital workers ensure they are getting a good night's sleep as part of their festive line up of activities. Working and playing hard will unsettle your sleep pattern and although one night's of lost sleep is no big deal but two or three nights; can create an unhealthy deficit towards your well being and affect your decision-making abilities."
"Its not just sleep that can cure the effects of a big night out, it's also what you do before and after. Avoid drinking alcohol three hours before bed. "While it does make you sleepy, it interferes with your quality of sleep. Always drink plenty of water before going to bed and first thing in the morning and eat a healthy breakfast".
The research also revealed 20% of British workers have taken a day's holiday after their Christmas work's bash this year - so that they can nurse their hangover guilt free.
For the annual Christmas office party this year, women will be splashing out on average £76.50 on a new frock and £41.22 on new shoes to go with it.
Listed below are range of tried and tested hangover cures by celebrities:
"My perfect hangover cure is putting a scraping of vegemite and grated cheese on toast and then grilling it"
Favourite hangover cure - It has to be egg sandwiches. I love them."
Favourite hangover cure is "Prairie Oyster" which consists of an egg yolk, tabasco, worcester sauce, brandy and vinegar - you have to swallow it down in one gulp.
"My hangovers get worse the older I get, so the only way to get over a hangover is to stay horizontal the next day".
Marco Pierre White
"I have a late night curry after a few pints to protect against getting a
terrible hangover the next day
"If I do get a hangover I drink loads of water and eat every hour. I also take a vitamin B supplement called Berocca".
"Take a two-litre bottle of water to bed with you and sip it throughout the night."