Super Sick Monday: 16 million US employees set to miss work after NFL’s Super Bowl on Sunday

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Maybe America should just make the Super Bowl a national holiday.

Well, not the actual game, but the day after. As the Super Bowl spectacle shines ever brighter, so have reports of people not showing up for work on the Monday after the NFL crowns its champion.

So-called Super Bowl Monday is routinely named as one of the least productive days on the calendar. About 16 million people are expected to skip this year after the Kansas City Chiefs topped the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, according to an estimate based on a survey by UKG Workforce Institute.

“Folks are going to be playing sick,” said Jarik Conrad, president of UKG Workforce Institute. “They’re probably not going to be very truthful.”

So what should be done about the Super Bowl flu?

One solution pitched in a bill last year by two Tennessee lawmakers was to have the Monday after the Super Bowl be a holiday. There’s also been speculation about the matchup being moved a week later to President’s Day weekend. That would mean millions of workers would have Super Bowl Monday off as a scheduled holiday.

Dan Patrick, the former ESPN sports anchor who now has a popular radio show, recently grabbed some headlines when he advocated for the Super Bowl to be moved to Saturday. Teams would still get almost two weeks of rest from the conference title games, and fans would avoid the Monday malaise following a night of nachos, wings and booze.

“Wouldn’t it be great that you have all this time?” Patrick said to his listeners. “Both teams get plenty of rest. Saturday is the Super Bowl, and Sunday you get to recover.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that Sunday is ideal because that’s when the game will get the most viewers.

That doesn’t leave much hope for employers. To avoid issues, they could overstaff and call employees ahead of time to confirm they’re working on Super Bowl Monday, said Shauna Bryngelson, a consultant at workplace management group Mercer.

The Super Bowl’s impact on the workplace also goes beyond absenteeism. About 45 million people will be less productive on Monday, according to estimates from UKG’s survey data.

That’s roughly a third of America’s full-time workforce.

 

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Published: 12 Feb 2024, 08:31 PM IST

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