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Top 10 reasons for pulling a sickie: the truth revealed

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Flexioffices prides itself on being experts in the supply of serviced office space across the UK, appreciating that our clients’ employees’ productivity and happiness all starts with the perfect office space for them. However, what we don’t often get to see is the softer side of business, how an employee calling in sick can affect the day to day running of our clients’ organisations.

We all know that sick days are part and parcel of working life; however we had a sneaky suspicion that not all sick days are what they might seem at first. I mean, how often can Barry from accounts really call in with symptoms of a rare tropical disease? He doesn’t even have a passport.

Our UK-wide survey asked over 2,000 people in the
UK to come clean, telling us the real reasons behind thousands of Oscar winning gravelly voiced renditions of the ‘“there’s no way I can make it in today” call’ to bosses across the nation on a daily basis.

Here are the UK’s top ten reasons for pulling a sickie.

1. To go to a job interview elsewhere

31% of respondents said they had called in sick in order to attend a job interview, with people in the South West stating this as being the number one reason above all others for having a sick day.

2. I had a hangover

26% of respondents have taken a sick day because of a hangover, with respondents from the North West most likely to succumb to a booze induced day off, closely followed by Londoners and Scots.

3. To watch a major sporting event

11% of respondents have pulled a sickie to watch a major sporting event, with 18-24 year olds from the North East being the most dedicated fans in the nation.

4. It’s nice weather outside

As good a reason as any, especially according to survey respondents from the West Midlands, who don’t need any convincing that topping up the tan is more than enough reason for a bunged up call to the boss.

5. It’s Monday

Simply the fact it’s a Monday is our fifth most popular reason for pulling a sickie. Monday must be getting a real complex, especially following a survey by ITV earlier this year stating that the first Monday of February emerged as "national sickie day", with workers struggling under the weight of credit card bills, a long wait until the next holiday and wintry weather. Our survey shows that Monday is particularly unpopular amongst 18-24 year olds in the East of England.

6. I just got dumped by someone in the same office

In at six, it’s time to get out the miniature violins, cue the sorrowful music and spare a thought for these poor souls, with 25-34 year olds and the over 65s among the most dumped office workers in the UK. Crying into photocopiers is not a good look, so maybe a sick day in this situation is the only option left.

7. I was preparing for a big date

Let’s hope the big date isn’t with someone in the same office, as that doesn’t seem to work out too well! At number seven, our survey respondents have shown that love is more important than work, with the South West of England being the most likely to put romance before reports.

8. I had a bad haircut

It appears the UK is particularly bothered about appearances, so much so that a bad haircut is enough to conjure up the biggest lie you can think of and call in sick day. 18-24 year olds in London are especially conscious of their locks, admitting to calling in sick to protect their pride. We blame David Beckham.

9. It’s the last day of the sales

The UK is not going to let work get in the way of a good bargain. Sure, it’s not as big a priority as some of the other reasons on our list, but the last day of the sales still features as a sneaky truth behind UK wide sick day statistics. Our survey suggests Women in the East Midlands are most likely to indulge in a little retail therapy and leave that big presentation for another day.

10. Woke up with a huge spot on the face

Bringing up the rear – which we’re rather pleased about as it’s a bit of a yucky one – the least likely reason for someone to call in sick on our list is due to having a huge spot on their face. Unfortunately, this does still make our top 10 reasons for pulling a sickie, but who knows, maybe next year it will drop off the end and be replaced by something a little less stomach turning, like that rare tropical disease we were talking about earlier… on second thoughts, maybe not.

Feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues to find out how many of them have pulled a sickie for similar reasons in the past, or come clean with your real reasons for having a sick day by tweeting us @Flexioffices.

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