Sorry I can't come to work today as I swallowed a spider

Some of the funniest reason for calling in sick after the Christmas party

● One in ten office workers admit to calling in sick the day after the Christmas party

● Nearly a third of workers in the property and construction industry admit to getting intimate with a colleague

● The information technology sector named as the worst culprits for calling in sick

The office Christmas party is a highly anticipated annual event in the calendar, with workers across the nation using it as a chance to get dressed up and let their hair down with colleagues.

But, what happens when it all goes a little too far, and colleagues are left embarrassed by their antics or too hungover to make it into work the next day?

A new survey of 1,000 UK workers, conducted by the UK’s largest indoor go-karting company TeamSport looked into the best, worst and the simply bizarre excuses UK workers have made when calling in sick the day after the office Christmas party.

Of those who admitted to calling in sick, a staggering 60 per cent admitted it was because they were simply too hungover. 

Interestingly, the reasons for calling in sick were very different for male and female respondents. Women didn’t want to attend work the next day, as they had embarrassed themselves at the party (12 per cent versus six per cent of men), or they argued with a colleague (10 per cent versus six per cent of men). Whereas, for the men, they felt they needed time to recharge their batteries (23 per cent versus 14 per cent of women) or they didn’t want to face work commitments such as meetings (six per cent versus two per cent of women).

The actual stories used to explain to the boss why they couldn’t come in that day included being stricken down with food poisoning (16 per cent), feeling sick (11 per cent), a sudden case of a stomach bug (5 per cent) and a broken down car (three per cent).

Other amusing excuses included:

●  “I forgot to put the washing machine on, I’ve no clean clothes”

● “I won’t be able to make it to the office this morning, I’ve bruised my brain”

● “Sorry I can’t come in today. I’ve swallowed a spider”

● “I won’t be in the office today; my ears are sore from the music at the party last night”

The report also considered the differences between industries, highlighting the worst culprits for calling in sick. These were:  

● Information technology (24 per cent)

● Business, consulting and management (19 per cent)

● Creative arts and design (18 per cent)

● Property and construction (12 per cent)

● Engineering (12 per cent)

However, other sectors were keen to attempt work the day after. Marketing and PR, along with HR and Recruitment, reported only three per cent of employees calling in sick. 

It seems that workers in the property and construction industry are the most promiscuous, with nearly one in three (29 per cent) admitting to getting intimate with a colleague at the party, and this being the reason they didn’t want to face work the next day.  

With a thriving, 24-hour nightlife, it’s no surprise that workers in the capital were the biggest offenders for calling in sick, (17 per cent), followed by the West Midlands (13 per cent) and the North West (13 per cent).  

Dominic Gaynor, managing director of TeamSport Indoor Karting, said: “Our research into the best and worst excuses for calling in sick is rather amusing. It’s particularly interesting to take a look at the differences between each industry.   

“It can be difficult to drag yourself out of bed the day after a huge work party, and that’s why we’re encouraging businesses to consider other ways to celebrate Christmas with their employees.

“Exciting days out such as a day at the go-karting track are not only great team-building exercises, but they’re also really fun. Plus, avoiding a party fuelled by alcohol means there is less opportunity for workers to come up with these bizarre excuses and call in sick.”

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