All Work And No Play For Boozing Brits


Despite a culture of binge drinking and a reputation for drinking European counterparts under the table, British workers play hard and work hard, with 62% refusing to pull a sickie after a night out on the tiles. In fact, just over a third of Brits have ever taken time off work because of a hangover.

A recent poll asked, "Have you ever taken a day off because of a hangover?"

Out of 3,359 respondents, the votes were as follows:


  • 49% (1619 votes) – No, I always come to work however hungover I am;
  • 24% (814 votes) – Yes, several times;
  • 14% (486 votes) – Yes, but only once;
  • 13% (440 votes) – No, I think my colleagues/boss would find out.


Even with such an open attitude towards social drinking, emergence of the "ladette culture" and last year’s change in licensing laws, British workers still take the line that when there’s a job to do, don’t let a hangover get in the way.

Chris Evans and Pete Doherty have infamously turned up for work slightly worse for wear. While these levels of excessiveness are not standard behaviour for everyone, in general the majority of Brits choose to work through their hangover rather than to sleep it off.

So what’s getting Brits out of bed and into the office? A hard-working ethos and increasingly competitive workplace may be attributable. In addition, more businesses are offering financial incentives to encourage people to turn up for work. The Government has also called on businesses to invest more time and money in preventing ill health at work.

The Royal Mail’s much publicised scheme, launched last August, offered staff the chance to win a car if they did not take any sick leave in six months. Attendance levels rose, with the equivalent of 1,000 more staff at work daily.

Sick pay currently costs the industry about £32billion a year, with £4billion purely based on absenteeism figures alone. While it is imperative for employers to identify the root cause of staff absenteeism, steps should also be taken to recognise staff with a good attendance record .

Top Tips On How To Work Through Your Hangover

DO Tackle big tasks and the most important jobs first

DO Drink plenty of water

DO Keep your head down – work quietly to conserve your energy

DO Remember your manners – be polite and courteous, no matter how rough you feel

DON’T Wear sunglasses in the office

DON’T Boast about your drinking escapades

DON’T Fall asleep at your desk

DON’T Email the entire company asking for aspirin

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