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Post-Super Bowl, Expect Many Desks to Be Empty

It’s Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, which means your office might be quieter than usual on Monday.

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According to the Kronos Workforce Institute’s annual “Super Bowl Fever Survey” conducted by The Harris Poll, an estimated 17.5 million United States-based employees might skip out on the Monday workday. This is the highest estimated total since Kronos began research on the topic in 2005.

The survey found that an estimated 11.1 million employees will likely use preapproved time-off, while 4.7 million plan to call in sick — even if they’re not really ill. Additionally, 11.1 million employees plan to go to work late, while 7.9 million will wait until the last minute to decide whether to go to work.

“Fridays and Mondays are notorious for employee sick days already, and then you throw in Super Bowl Sunday and suddenly half the office is ‘sick’ on Monday,” said Rachel Ernst, vice president of employee success at Reflektive. “The biggest impact of this phenomenon is lost productivity across the organization, given the domino effect of unplanned absences.”

For many years, there’s been calls for the Super Bowl to be moved to Saturday or for the Monday after the Super Bowl to be a national holiday in the U.S. According to research from OfficeTeam, 72% of human resources managers believe the post-Super Bowl Monday should be a holiday.

Given that this appears to be an unlikely development — at least in the short term — it’s best to embrace the hysteria that comes along with the Super Bowl, said Jono Bacon, an independent community and collaboration strategy consultant.

“The key to benefiting from group experiences like the Super Bowl is tapping into relatedness,” Bacon said. “This is where we feel safe together in a group and conversely, avoiding people feeling left out. So, for example, creating identity around the game — such as themed hats, jerseys, signs and more — can increase the sense of inclusion for people less involved in the game, such as those who are only really watching for the ads, as their identity is shared with the group.”

Ultimately, the best practice is for employers and managers to be proactive when it comes to planning for Super Bowl fallout. More than half (56%) of employees in the Kronos survey said their employer doesn’t plan for increased absences that can happen on Monday after the Super Bowl.

“While the focus remains largely on reactive measures — such as memos, discipline, and even firings — organizations that proactively plan will be rewarded with fewer absences and, more importantly, higher employee engagement,” said Joyce Maroney, executive director at The Workforce Institute. “I find it very encouraging that engaged employees are more likely to take Monday off: This signals they’re able to have open and honest conversations with their employer about time off and, conversely, it’s likely their employer promotes flexibility.”

About the Author

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Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.


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