Millennials, legal industry workers more likely to be hungover at work | CA Benefits Agency

Dive Brief:

  • On aver­age, Amer­i­can work­ers miss two days of work per year due to being hun­gover, a sur­vey of 1,000 full-time work­ers from Del­phi Behav­ioral Health Group found. By indus­try, the sec­tor most affect­ed by hang­overs is tech, with an aver­age of 8 sick days used, while con­struc­tion work­ers and legal indus­try work­ers used four, the sur­vey found. Med­ical and health­care; whole­sale and retail; and gov­ern­ment and pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion work­ers used only one sick day on aver­age, accord­ing to Del­phi, which esti­mat­ed that hang­overs cost U.S. employ­ers more than $41 bil­lion in sick day pay last year.
  • More than 75% of work­ers admit­ted they’ve shown up to work with a hang­over — near­ly 80% of men sur­veyed and about 70% of women — the study revealed. By age group, mil­len­ni­als lead the pack at almost 77% report­ing for work hun­gover, and work­ers in the legal indus­try were most like­ly to nurse hang­overs at the office, Del­phi said.
  • Work­ers come into work hun­gover on aver­age six times per year, accord­ing to the sur­vey, and spend about five hours of those days actu­al­ly work­ing. To get through the day, they pre­tend to work, hide out in the restrooms, take a nap or a long lunch. More than 30% said they’ve told their boss they over­did it the night before, and there were no con­se­quences for 66%.

Dive Insight:

While the occa­sion­al overindul­gence isn’t prob­lem­at­ic, employ­ers may right­ful­ly be con­cerned with the behav­ior if it becomes a chron­ic prob­lem and it’s worth con­sid­er­ing if it indi­cates a broad­er issue. Almost half of employ­ers are unsure whether their staff has a sub­stance abuse prob­lem, but some reports sug­gest employ­ers think men­tal ill­ness and sub­stance abuse lev­els are reach­ing record highs. The trend is prompt­ing some com­pa­nies to assess if new ben­e­fits can help workers.

Many of the indus­tries that appeared on the Del­phi report, like the legal indus­try, are con­sid­ered high stress. Men­tal health advo­cates believe stress on the job threat­ens work-life bal­ance for many work­ers. Unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions for pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, effi­cien­cy and con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion can pres­sure staff. Iron­i­cal­ly, as stress lev­els increase, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty can suf­fer and some work­ers may not be equipped with effec­tive cop­ing mech­a­nisms. To address this prob­lem, Macy’s, ADP and oth­er employ­ers recent­ly part­nered to cre­ate a guide for offer­ing men­tal health ben­e­fits and reduc­ing men­tal health stigma.

By Riia O’Donnell

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on

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