Finance Work The $2.5 billion hangover that results from hangovers

The $2.5 billion hangover that results from hangovers

economic cost of hangovers
The economic damage from people turning up to work could be as much as $15.78 billion. Photo: Getty
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Britain’s carousers are costing the economy more than $2.54 billion each year, due to workday hangovers, a new report has estimated.

The London-based Institute for Alcohol Studies (IAS) surveyed 3400 employees in the UK, who came to work either hungover or still drunk.

The respondents on average judged themselves to be 39 per cent less effective when they still turn up for work, despite having had one – or perhaps two – too many at some point beforehand, Bloomberg has reported.

The analysis factored that finding together with average labour costs to reach a calculation of the economic damage inflicted by the good old hangover.

The IAS claimed the UK government’s estimates undershot the overall economic cost of alcohol, because that tally “doesn’t take into account ‘presenteeism’ by drunk or hungover people insisting on coming to work despite their condition”.

Including hangovers on the job, that figure of economic damage could be as much as $15.78 billion (£8.7 billion), the report said.

“Even among those drinking at less harmful levels, working through intoxication and hangovers can reduce productivity,” said Aveek Bhattacharya, one of the report’s authors.

IAS found that higher-paid employees were more likely to come to work hungover or intoxicated, with 55 per cent of people earning more than £60,000 ($109,000) a year had previously done so, compared with 29 per cent of people earning less than £10,000 ($18,000) a year.

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