Today, Monday 2nd February 2015, is National Sickie Day! The first Monday in February has become known as ‘National Sickie Day’, typically the worst day of the year for absenteeism*. It’s estimated that it can cost British businesses as much as £34m in lost productivity.**
Our new survey reveals that 69% of British workers would love a duvet day today. Out of all of the days in the year, Brits are most likely to want to stay under the duvet today. It also asked workers to divulge some of their most popular excuses when throwing a sickie.
Of the 1600 people surveyed, 69% said they would be tempted to take the day off on Monday 2nd February. The main reason given was the weather! 38% said they’d just rather stay in bed than go out when it’s this cold and dark. The second most popular reason was actually feeling ill – it seems more than a third of adults currently feel under the weather, with snivels, coughs and seasonal fatigue. In at number three was a hangover. With Dry January now over, many were planning to have ‘a big weekend’ to make up for it and would anticipate that their reluctance to go to work would be because of feeling rough. Other reasons in the top five were ‘just needing a lie in’ and generally feeling overworked/stressed.
While most people would claim that ‘they’re just ill’, other popular excuses that people would give on national sickie day are children being off school, bereavement, attending a funeral, that the car has broken down and they’re having to wait for breakdown recovery, having incurred an injury (like sprained ankle or wrist).
The research also unearthed some outrageous excuses that might be used when calling in sick today. These included:
‘I’ve accidentally locked myself in the bathroom and I’m having to wait until someone with a key to the house can come round to let me out.’
‘I’ve accidentally sent my uniform to the charity shop so need to go and buy it back.’
‘My plastic surgery has gone wrong and I need to go and get it fixed.’
‘I thought it was a bank holiday today and I’m 500 miles away.’
‘I missed the stop on my train this morning and can’t get off the train now until London’ (worker from Glasgow).
Conversely, when asked what the biggest motivation to get out of bed in the morning was, more than half of those questioned said the urge to get a freshly brewed coffee or mug of tea was enough to get them up and out.
Breakfast was the second reason, followed closely by needing the toilet!
Parents had the fourth highest levels of motivation; simply wanting to see their children is all the motivation they need to start the day and 9% said greeting pets motivated their morning routine to begin. Surprisingly given the time of year, only 5% said exercise and fitness motivates them to get out of bed.
Some respondents were very positive, saying it was the thought of a new day; getting things done or looking forward to events that had a positive effect on getting moving in the morning.
Why we actually get out of bed
When asked what people HAD to get out of bed for, the list was slightly different.
Other than because of getting to work on time, what really gets the UK out of bed is children, to let animals outside, the alarm clock, the other half nagging (wife or husband) and needing the toilet.
20% said it was children waking up before them and coming into the bedroom that got them (unwillingly) out of bed.
The nation’s pet owners have their own alarm clocks. One in 10 sited pets as the reason they’re dragged out of bed.
25% said the alarm clock, 19% blamed their partner nagged them so much that this forced them out of bed and 10% said needing the toilet forced them up.
Sally Jesson from The Fine Bedding Company said, “Post-Christmas blues, seasonal ailments, the wintry weather, financial woes and a long wait for the next holiday are all top reasons for the UK’s lack of motivation to turn into work.
“Maybe our duvets are just too comfy that we want to stay in bed for longer!”
*sources: Reported as far back as 2000 – various news
**According to business advisers ELAS (employment Law Advisory Services, who claimed as many as 375,000 workers could be taking a sickie on National Sickie Day 2014
The survey was carried out by The Fine Bedding Company between 10-14 January 2015 using online methodology. Respondents were aged between 18-65 years and 1600 people completed the survey using multiple choice and open answers.