These are the industries with the most hungover employees

Of the roughly 157 million Americans currently employed, 75% admitted to heading to work after a night of heavy drinking.

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A recent survey of over 1,000 employees explores the impact hangovers have on the labor ecosystem.

The price of a great night

Last year, over $41 billion in salary was spent on hangover-induced absenteeism. Of the roughly 157 million Americans currently employed, 75% admitted to heading to work after a night of heavy drinking with the average employee taking about two sicks days a year to deal with their hangovers. This amounts to about $355 per employee annually.

The majority of coworkers that come to work sick from a night of too much imbibing are men, 80% to be exact compared to the 70% of women that do so. The report states that despite biological differences in how men and women process alcohol men are more likely to binge than women are, statistically speaking.


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Don’t be quick to sound off the have-a-go-heroes, because 46% of the respondents that show up to work hungover only pretended to actually do work. Just over 45% of the people that showed up to work with a hangover spend a significant amount of time in the bathroom,  35% took extra long lunches, 32.5% took an excessive number of breaks, and nearly 20% took naps. This culminates in a statistic listed later in the survey that reveals employees get about five hours of work done when they come in with hangovers.

Plus these five hours of work are not guaranteed to contain quality work. Besides the 43.1% of employees that outed their hangovers as an explanation for their lateness, nearly 40% say that their hangovers made them fall asleep while working,  nearly 10% missed important deadlines,  9.6% missed important meetings, and 2.6% showed up to get fired for their hazy mistakes.

Industries with the most hungover workers

Most of the statistics mention above surge when you limit your scope to careers in technology. The average number of sick days used yearly to treat hangovers in the tech industry is eight compared to the national average of two. Construction and legal jobs come in at number two with four days annually each, and marketing and advertising professionals come in at three sick days a year.

Thankfully medical and health care professionals boast some of the lowest statics with just one day taken a year from each field.

Partiers in the legal field seemed to have the greatest constitution. Over 90% of them weather the storm and come in to work despite their hangovers. However, this group also committed the most mistakes though while hungover (76%.)  A little more than 85% of hungover construction workers somehow manage to operate noisy machinery and  83% of workers in transportation and warehouses show up with hangovers.

By generation Millennials were found to pretend to do work with hangovers the most, coming in at 48.6%. They also took extended lunches the most. And took the most breaks…in addition to napping the most.

Should you tell your boss if you’re hungover?

The survey suggests there most likely will be no serious repercussions if you’re honest with your boss about your hangover. Of the workers surveyed 66.5% said there were absolutely zero consequences after they filled their boss in. Twenty-three percent were issued a formal warning, 20% were verbally reprimanded and 11.9% were fired.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.