Hangovers provoked by wild Xmas alcoholic excess will cost British business £790m* this festive season as workers stagger around their offices looking for a nice place to have a kip or puking up the previous night's intake.
That's according to hotel outfit Travelodge, which claims 4,500 Brit workers "predicted that their productivity will halve and on average they will spend two and half hours staring into space" following a "big night out". Top of the agenda for booze-addled zombies is a quick kip, with 15 per cent of those surveyed admitting they'd fallen asleep on the job.
Top location for some zeds was "at the desk or under the desk", followed by in the toilet, in the car, in a meeting or in the boardroom or stationery cupboard.
Those shattered workers who will not be asleep at their posts this Yuletide will quite probably be vomiting instead. Twenty-one per cent of pollees admitted to a quick technicolour yawn in the workplace, and while 77 per cent mercifully insisted they'd made it to the toilet for a quick chat with God on the big white telephone, the unfortunate remainder confirmed they'd hurled either at their desk, in the kitchen, in the car park or, sensationally, in a meeting.
All of which gained not one jot of sympathy from fellow workers, with 67 per cent of respondents saying they get annoyed by co-workers' self-inflicted pub flu.
Many, of course, don't even try and make the pretence that they can function, and 30 per cent coughed to pulling a sickie after a night on the tiles, even though "34 per cent of respondents were convinced their boss knew they were pulling a fast one".
While the potential effects of alcohol abuse on the UK economy make chilling reading, we should note that the traditional office Xmas bash will not this year be making its previously enormous contribution to the nation's economic decline.
As we recently reported an overdose of political correctness, companies' "Scrooge mentality" and employees' increasing ennui with enforced jollity are threatening to sink the annual workplace knees-up for good. ®
In case you're wondering, and sober enough to care, Travelodge bases its calculation on the average Brit's admission that he or she "wastes two hours 18 minutes at work" the day after a session...
X 29,000,000 (no of UK workers) = 63,220,000 hours in total across the UK.
X £12.50 (Average UK hourly wage according to http//www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/Internal.aspNodeID=93132)