Staff hangovers less likely to hit business productivity in the south east, study says

The study was commissioned by Willis PMI Group

The study was commissioned by Willis PMI Group

Workers in the south east are among the least likely to allow drinking to have an impact on their workplace productivity, research has revealed.

Just over a third (35 per cent) of workers in the region have gone to work with a hangover that has caused them to be less productive in the past 12 months – only five per cent having done so 30 times or more.

According to the study of 1,197 workers, commissioned by Willis PMI Group, part of Willis Towers Watson, this contrasts sharply with London where these figures total 50 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Although 13 per cent of south east workers believe their employer contributes to unhealthy levels of drinking among staff, only 12 per cent said their employer offers health advice on alcohol consumption.

Mike Blake, director at Willis PMI Group, said: “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 on businesses is often overlooked.

“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.”

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of all British workers admit to having gone to work with a hangover, with male workers (35 per cent) more culpable than their female counterparts (18 per cent).

Eleven per cent of male workers say they do so regularly, compared with just four per cent of females.

Mr Blake added: “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.

“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.”

Alcohol has a greater impact on the workplace productivity of younger workers, the study revealed.

More than one in five (21 per cent) of Britain’s 18- to 24-year-olds say they regularly go to work with a hangover, compared to only one per cent of 55- to 64-year-olds.

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