Too much holiday celebration could hurt productivity among employees

As businesses enter the holiday season, employers should be aware of the impact winter celebrations have on employee performance. A recent study from Caron Treatment Centers found that roughly 64 percent of Americans have called in sick due to a hangover after attending a holiday party.

Of the workers who did go to work, nearly half were experiencing or knew someone who was experiencing symptoms associated with a night of too much drinking, according to Caron, which provides treatment for alcohol and drug addiction.

Both absenteeism and presenteeism caused by alcohol consumption have severe consequences on worker productivity. When an employee is feeling ill, he or she cannot focus, which can threaten workplace safety if heavy machinery, construction equipment or sharp objects are part of the environment.

“There is already a significant amount of stress and competition in the workplace,” said Dr. Harris Stratyner, vice president of Caron Treatment Centers. “If employees are unable to perform because of drinking too much the night before, their job performance may be seriously impacted.”

Stratyner explains while it is an individual’s responsibility to manage their alcohol consumption, employers can encourage employees to take responsibility for their behavior. He suggests businesses that host holiday parties make the events alcohol-free. Business owners may consider throwing family friendly parties held midday on a weekend.

While many employees may believe alcohol is crucial to having a good time, the survey found that 75 percent of adults do not drink in moderation during the holidays. Workers may be tempted to imbibe because of stress, employers may consider providing anxiety management and counseling resources.

It’s a good idea to remind workers of the dangers of excessive drinking. Employers may consider incorporating alcoholism prevention into the business’ wellness program, as it can cause serious health problems and increase the risk of injury.

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