Staff hangovers less likely to hit productivity in Scotland

Scottish workers are among the least likely to allow drinking to have an impact on their workplace productivity, research has revealed.

Saturday, 14th May 2016, 10:00 am
New research has revealed the impact of alcohol on productivity in the workplace.

Just over a third (38 per cent) of Scottish workers have gone to work with a hangover that has caused them to be less productive in the past 12 months - only six 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 the figures total 50 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Although nearly one in five (18 per cent) Scottish workers believe their employer contributes to unhealthy levels of drinking among staff, only a quarter (25 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.

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. Twenty-one 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.