If you appear red-eyed in the office with a raging headache and an inability to focus, the most likely cause is a big night out the evening before. Whilst mid-week partying and boozing is never to be advised if you want to be on top form at work, we’ve all made the mistake of thinking that one more drink would be just fine, and believing we had more stamina than we really possessed.

But never fear! We’re here to help you with those awful days when you’re battling pain, dizziness and a sense of guilt - because, let’s face it, you did this to yourself.  

Here are some top tips from combatting, overcoming and (worst case scenario) hiding your hangover at work:


Whilst water would have been a handy thing to think about at the end of your night, we’re not all that resourceful or practical. The human body is 60% water, and alcohol can severely dehydrate you – so get chugging that water as soon as you wake up. Even if it makes you feel ill at first, preserver and the H2O will soon have you feeling better.

a man sleeping on the couch

Shower and refresh

If you stumble out of bed, shove on some old clothes and head straight into work, this is not going to be conducive to a productive day at work. Take a shower, fix up your face and hair and perhaps apply a little makeup. If you only have a few minutes at least remove the makeup from the night before. An old smudge of mascara on your cheek will make you look anything but professional, and is definitely a giveaway to your colleagues that you’re feeling rough.

Don’t broadcast the news

If you’re planning a mid-week night out, try not to alert the whole office to the fact that you are soon-to-be hungover. This is likely to annoy your colleagues, as it may lead them to believe you’re not pulling your weight. Try to avoid telling everyone ‘I’m soooo hungover’ when you actually do come into work – especially if you work in a small, open office; the news is likely to find its way to your boss, who’s unlikely to be impressed. There are a host of alternative things to tell your colleagues about why you look so ropey – just don’t go too over the top with fabricated excuses.


Make yourself a giant bowl of porridge or equivalent to soak up to remaining alcohol in your system. Whilst some people are blessed with the ability to recover quickly from night out, the rest of us aren’t so lucky. Oats are a particularly good choice – they’re a source of soluble fibre, so easily digested, and will leave you feeling much better than if you’d left your stomach empty.

Stay at your desk and keep your head down

Worst case scenario, you really can’t function and the hangover is all consuming. Take some paracetamol, try not to moan too much and avoid your boss. Pick your nights out carefully so as to avoid presenting or attending meetings the following day. Rather than spending the day mooching around the office and staring into space in the kitchen, you will remain most inconspicuous if you stay at your desk. Keep your head down, put your headphones in, and try to obtain your colleague’s sympathy to provide you with the support to see the day through.  Good luck!

Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available, as well as their graduate jobs Manchester page for further opportunities.

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