Would you go to work with a raging hangover? Many people would.
And if you’re in the legal industry, you more likely than others to do so. This is according to a study by Delphi Health Group, which surveyed over 1,000 full-time employees about working while hungover.
Hangovers are the worst
Apparently, nobody knows exactly what happens when we get hangovers but they’re pretty sure that exacerbating factors include a buildup of acetaldehyde (an alcohol byproduct), dehydration, and changes in metabolism.
Hangovers can range from mild to severe, and symptoms include raging headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sweating, nausea, anxiety and depression. They can last for more than 24 hours, and they’re terrible.
The most hungover employees
Delphi found that, across industries, people took their hangover to work an average of six times a year.
Millennials were the most likely generation to show up to work feeling the effects of the night before, at almost 78%, followed by baby boomers and Gen Xers at about 70% each.
Those in the legal industry are most likely to show up to work hungover, with 94% saying they’ve done so. They were followed by construction workers (85.5%) and transportation and warehousing employees (83%).
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the legal sector employs the biggest drinkers. Legal sector workers may be more likely to show up to work hungover but they only use an average of four sick days a year to nurse a hangover, while technology workers took an average of eight hungover days off. So, all this really tells us is that legal workers are more likely to tough it out and go to work.
On average, employees across industries used two sick days per year to stay home with a hangover. The construction sector matched the legal sector, with employees taking an average of four hungover days a year, while those in the government, medical, and wholesale industries took only took one day on average.
The cost of a hangover
What does this cost employers? An employee taking two sick days costs an employer about $355, according to Delphi.
“Considering there were nearly 157 million employed U.S. workers in 2018 and that over 75 percent claimed to have gone to work hungover, over $41 billion in salary was spent on days missed for hangovers last year. In fact, the money spent paying employees who call in sick for a hangover could be detrimental to small businesses.”
While 66% of people faced no repercussions from their bosses, the hangover does have an impact on work performance. Among the things that employees admit to doing are showing up late, missing meetings, and throwing up in the bathroom. Thirty-nine per cent of employees said they made a mistake in their work, almost 10% missed an important deadline, and 2.9% were fired. In the tech industry, the number that got fired increased to 8%.
Be careful. You don’t want to pay for that night out with your job.