THE soaring number of office workers who choose to die at their desks is costing the UK economy Â£2.6bn a year, according to a new report.
The Institute for Studies said dead office staff can go undiscovered for months, causing a huge backlog of emails, unanswered phone calls and a sweet, sickly odour.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Almost a quarter of office workers have had to cover for someone who has ceased to exist during office hours. Without clear guidelines we risk falling even further behind the Chinese who would not think twice about feasting on a dead colleague. Or a live one.”
Martin Bishop, a business consultant from Peterborough, was half way through an important client meeting last month when one of his co-workers decided to die.
He said: “At first I tried sneakily booting his shins under the desk to try and stop him going towards the light. Then, as everyone was shaking hands at the end I punched him five or six times in the chest as hard as I could. Everyone just went silent and stared at me.”
He added: “The clients left without saying a word, and I haven’t spoken to my colleague since. In fact, I think he’s still sat there but I’m not phoning an ambulance until I get some kind of apology.”
Kevin Reese, a call centre manager from Hatfield, said: “If you’re going to die at work make sure someone on your team knows about it in advance and for goodness sake don’t slink off to the toilets where your putrefying remains won’t be discovered until the height of summer.
“If I have to drag your pus-filled corpse into the lobby in the middle of a 30 degree heat wave, you can ask someone else for a reference.”