According to a recent report compiled for Australia's Federal Department of Health and Ageing, the notable alcohol abuse among the workforce is likely costing the country's businesses billions of dollars in terms of 'lost productivity'.
As per the report, by the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction at Flinders University, 'lost productivity' - resulting from the working staff's hangovers after drinks, sickness, and early retirement due to alcohol or drug use - is becoming a growing menace for most businesses, and it costs a whopping $5.6 billion a year!
Statistically speaking, while 6.6 per cent workers who indulge in drinking show up to work drunk; nearly 10 percent of workers often drank alcohol in the workplace; and almost 9 percent drank at the so-called "risky" levels once a week. Moreover, one in six workers reported physical abuse by a drunken co-worker; while one in seven reported verbal abuse.
The report, obtained by The Australian under freedom of information laws, suggested that so as to combat the drinking menace effectively as well as to increase production, it is imperative that the companies' bosses undertake regular workplace interventions.
Commenting on the report, the director of Australian Centre for Addiction Research Director, Thiagarajan Sitharthan, said: "What businesses need to realize is that it
(alcohol abuse) is actually affecting productivity, because with alcohol use the concerns are not usually directly apparent."