More than half of professionals (54%) surveyed by OfficeTeam know someone who’s called in sick or made an excuse for skipping work following a major sporting event, such as the Super Bowl, NBA Finals or World Series.
In a separate survey, senior managers identified playing hooky the day after (42%) as the most distracting or annoying employee behavior when it comes to sports, a 20-point jump from a similar survey in 2017. Senior managers also cited spending too much time talking sports (18%) and showing up the day after tired or under the weather (17%) as most distracting or annoying behavior.
And employers have good reason to be annoyed. According to an estimate from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., Super Bowl-related absences could cost employers more than $2.5 billion in lost productivity. Even those who do choose to go to work on Monday will likely face some game-related distractions.
“If all of the workers who watch the Super Bowl spend just one hour of their work day discussing the game or come in one hour late, the productivity losses could hit $1.7 billion,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. He added that this is on top of the $2.5 billion loss from people calling out of work.
“Employers should accept that people are going to spend some time discussing big plays or the best commercials on Monday. Consider allowing employees to come in a bit later or encourage fans to bring in leftovers from their Super Bowl parties and throw a potluck during lunch. Use this opportunity to increase morale and workplace satisfaction,” Challenger suggested.