While many Atlantans didn’t have a preferred dog in the fight, last night’s Super Bowl still sparked thousands of parties, gatherings and later than usual nights for young and old across the city. Feeling a bit of a Super Bowl headache today? You’re definitely not alone.
A recent study by the Workforce Institute indicates that as many as 14 million Americans call in sick the morning after the Super Bowl, with as many as 2 million more indicating they seriously considered it, but were unable to due to prior commitments and responsibilities. Decades of research indicate that today’s unofficial “sick-out” is a growing trend, with the number of people calling in increasing each year.
What does this mean in cold hard numbers? Super Bowl Monday absenteeism costs employers approximately $3 billion each year. Even the people who have dutifully arrived at work today are costing their employers money though. If all workers who watch the Super Bowl come in just one hour late, or spend one hour discussing the game instead of doing work, it could cost employers $1.78 billion in lost working time. According to a recent study, US employers already lose an estimated $296 million in lost productivity for every ten minutes that employees spend rehashing the game and watching highlight reels.
Blame the “Flu”
A harsh flu season tends to increase these number, though not for the reason you may expect. While it is true that more people are legitimately sick during January and February as the flu makes it’s rounds, the virus also emboldens people who might not normally feel comfortable lying. With the easy excuse of the flu conveniently hitting their home over the preceding weekend, “I’ve come down with the flu” is now one of the go-to excuses for folks with a Super Bowl hangover who can’t quite muster coming into the office.
Make It Official Already!
The same Workforce Institute study found that 25% of people polled believe the Monday after the Super Bowl should be an official holiday. When you poll human resources managers, the number skyrockets to 72%! That’s why some companies have already started to give their employees the day off to recover. Food and beverage company Kraft Heinz announced in 2017 that all corporate salaried workers would receive the day off on the Monday after the Super Bowl. The company even filed a petition to make Super Bowl Monday a national holiday. The petition, which is now closed, acquired over 71,000 signatures but unfortunately needed to reach 100,000 to be sent to Congress.
While impact to specific employers may sound huge, we should all keep in mind that the Super Bowl is a boon to both the local and national economy. Host cities and the hometowns of participating teams see a boost due to tourism, future team ticket sales and party supply sales. Employers also shouldn’t discount the morale boost that comes from shared celebrations….and shared misery.