More than 10% of Scots have gone to work still drunk, survey finds

More than 10% of Scots have gone to work still drunk, survey finds
More than one in ten Scots have attended work feeling drunk in the past year, according to a recent survey (Photo: Shutterstock)

With Christmas party season approaching Scottish workers will be nursing their fair share of headaches in the workplace over the coming weeks.

And new data more than one in ten (12%) Scots have attended work in the past 12 months while still feeling drunk.

The alarming data found that fifty per cent of those who said they had attended work while still intoxicated, claim to have driven to their place of work.

The research by Willis Towers Watson (WTW) also highlighted that almost one in five (18%) workers in Scotland have taken sick days in the past 12 months because of hangovers – with one third (33%) admitting to bosses that a hangover was the reason for their absence.

Especially likely during the festive period

Wellbeing lead at WTW, Mike Blake, said of the statistics: “These alarming findings suggest that far too many people in Scotland are putting their safety and wellbeing, and potentially the safety of others, at risk.”

“The human body is only capable of processing, on average, one unit of alcohol per hour. Binge drinking can mean that alcohol remains in the bloodstream many hours later. Those drinking heavily on nights out can consequently be still feeling the effects of their alcohol consumption the next day.

“With Christmas just around the corner and party season starting, the likelihood of workers coming into work still feeling drunk increases. Companies should be looking at what they can do to support workers and educate them on the dangers of excessive drinking on work nights.

“Sensitive advice and guidance on attitudes towards alcohol and sensible drinking, ranging from workshops to intranet resources, for example, can go a long way in helping to foster a responsible workforce culture.”

According to the research just one in ten (11%) of workers in Scotland said their employer currently provides staff with guidance on alcohol consumption.

Work hard, play hard culture

One fifth (20%) of those interviewed claimed that their employer contributed to unhealthy levels of drinking among staff, such as pressuring workers to drink on staff nights out, paying for alcohol on nights out, or encouraging a work hard, play hard culture.

“Alcohol can be employed by some businesses to help them promote a laidback, trendy culture, while for others it is used as a staff reward, with some even hosting onsite bars,” said Blake. “But there can be other, less risky, ways for them to achieve these objectives.

“In addition to the detrimental effect on physical health and wellbeing, frequent and excessive alcohol consumption can also negatively impact the long-term mental health of workers. In some cases, it is used as a crutch to mask deeper psychological problems.”

“Companies should be setting out to identify if alcohol misuse is a problem among their employees and, where necessary, review and revise wellbeing strategies to establish appropriate support and intervention initiatives.”