How To Survive At Work With A Hangover

By Ali Luke

May 7, 2009   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

You had one (or several) too many drinks on a night out with friends, and – at 8 am in the office – you’re really regretting it. Your head is pounding, your mouth feels like sawdust, and you wish your colleagues would tiptoe and whisper when they’re near you. The thought of eating makes your stomach threaten to revolt, so you’ve skipped breakfast.

All you can think about is how you’re going to survive till four o’clock.

Here’s how:

  • Drink Lots Of Water
    Chances are, you’re still dehydrated. So your first step is to grab a big glass of water. Sip it slowly (especially if your stomach’s feeling dodgy).
  • Take Painkillers
    A mild-moderate painkiller will help with the headache. You might also want to take something to settle your stomach.
  • Eat Something
    Most people don’t feel like eating when they’re hungover, but food will help your body recover faster. Try some dry bread or crackers if you really think your stomach’s not up to much. (Over here in the UK, some people swear by the restorative powers of a big fried breakfast, but that may just be too much to contemplate!)
  • Avoid Conflicts
    Of course, it’s a good idea to avoid getting into arguments with workmates anyway – but if you’re hungover, make an extra effort to avoid situations where you’re likely to over-react. One of your colleagues has just said the stupidest thing ever about the economy? Let it go.
  • Take Your Time
    Even straightforward tasks can be a struggle when you’re hungover. Don’t rush things. Even if you have a lot of work on, you’re going to lose more time by making mistakes that you have to fix than by taking your time in the first place.
  • Avoid Clients
    This might not always be an option, but if you don’t need to see clients, then try not to. You’re never going to look your best when you have a pallid complexion, bloodshot eyes, and a tendency to drift off mid-conversation…
  • Tackle Easy Tasks
    If you have some choice over your work (and most of us do), then go for some of those boring, routine little jobs that you keep putting off. It’s a good chance to get through them while you’re feeling sub-par.
  • Take a Nap
    During your lunch break, or another official/scheduled break, get your head down and take a nap. (Note: avoid doing this when you’re supposed to be working, however tempting it is. It’s extremely unlikely to impress your boss.)
  • Ask For Help
    Even if you’re normally totally confident about the reports you write, the problems you solve or the widgets you crank, you might make mistakes when you’re hungover. Ask a colleague to look things over for you.
  • Don’t Mention The Hangover
    It always surprises me how many people will tell colleagues outright “I’m so hungover today”. The last thing you want is for the boss to hear about this … and office gossip can spread fast. If anyone comments on your pallor, just say that you slept badly or that you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

If the above tips aren’t enough for you, you might also want to check out:
Ways To Cure Your Hangover and How to Severely Decrease the Chances Of A Hangover.

Have you ever been hungover at work? How did you cope? Do you have any disastrous hangover stories to share?

Ali Luke

Getting Started with Forex

Other Dating Guide

Individual Reviews