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Press releases


21st Jun 2007

A staggering 49% of the British workforce will sneak through the door late tomorrow morning armed with a plethora of imaginative excuses and yet 20% of workers will be hiding one genuine, rather more mundane reason. They overslept.

The poll conducted by budget hotel chain Travelodge reveals that six million workers oversleep every day. However we would all prefer to dream up extravagant excuses in the shower, whilst travelling or even on the spot in front of the boss rather than admit that the alarm clock just didn't cut through that early morning fog.

From watching UFO's, a swan crossing the motorway, tripping over the dog and discovering kittens in your garage to being sick on a stranger at the station and even indulging in a bit of nookie, these are just some of the most bizarre excuses uncovered. A very sneaky four percent even confess to keeping a little book of excuses just in case the need arises!

However it's no laughing matter when the nation's inability to get out of bed is costing businesses a whopping 619 million* a year in lost productivity.

The top five genuine causes of being late are:

1. Oversleeping
2. Not leaving enough time for travel time
3. Pressing snooze on the alarm clock
4. Being disorganised
5. Missing the bus or train

The average British worker is around five minutes late for work, twice a month which equates to an alarming 89** hours, or nearly three weeks, over a working lifetime. IT workers are named and shamed as the nation's doziest, turning up late on average three days a month, amounting to approximately six years*** spread across the duration of their career.

The top five tardiest professions are:

1. IT and Internet workers
2. Call Centre staff
3. Telecommunications staff
4. Secretaries and PA's
5. HR Managers

Wayne Munnelly, Director of Sleep for Travelodge, comments: "Creative excuses such as watching UFO's, wrestling with wildlife or getting lost on the way to work cannot mask the real reason for our nation's tardiness. The tendency to oversleep clearly demonstrates that this country is in the grip of a sleep-deprivation epidemic. A shocking 28.1 million (97%) British workers are getting less than the recommended eight hours of sleep every night of the working week and the subsequent inability to wake up is having a significant knock-on effect on the productivity of UK businesses."

Corinne Sweet, Holistic Lifecoach and Psychologist, is similarly concerned by the results of the poll: "We all need to take greater control of our lives and readdress the work-life balance. Long working hours coupled with the stresses and strains of the daily grind mean we are no longer able to switch off after hours and indulge in worry-free sleep. Drinking too much alcohol, eating late or partying midweek can also lead to oversleeping. I would recommend tackling work-related issues with your manager as soon as they arise and keeping boozy celebrations to Friday or Saturday nights. With a clear head you are ready to enjoy a calm and effective evening wind-down."

Corinne's top five tips for getting to work on time are:

1. Raise any work-related worries promptly with your line manager
2. Try and be in bed by 11pm at the latest
3. Place your laptop, bags and keys by the front door the night before
4. Work out what you're wearing the next day the night before
5. Ensure your alarm clock is loud enough to wake you effectively!

*The research was conducted by Onepoll in June 2007 with 1500 UK adults.


For more information please contact:

Shakila Ahmed
PR Manager
T: 01844 358638
M: 077802 702 499

Shula Gillam
PR Executive
T: 01844 358703
M: 07863 342 317

Notes to Editor:
**Statistics calculated on the basis of 28.98 million British people in employment as of February 2007 (ONS)

Top 10 latest professions
1. IT and Internet workers
2. Call Centre staff
3. Telecommunications staff
4. Secretaries & PA's
5. HR Managers
6. Builders
7. Accountants
8. Recruitment Consultants
9. Nurses
10. Engineers

Top 10 cities most late for work per month
1. Cardiff
2. Belfast
3. Nottingham
4. Southampton
5. Birmingham
6. Liverpool
7. Leeds
8. Sheffield
9. London
10. Newcastle

Popular Travelodge Destinations