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Super Monday – The Impact of Unplanned Absenteeism

February 6, 2020

By Keisha Ward, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Whether your team won or lost on Sunday, Super Bowl LIV may seem to be a distant memory; however,  a recent survey conducted by Workforce Institute at Kronos indicates that effects of Super Bowl Sunday are not memories, but rather an event that can wreak havoc for your company for quite some time. Monday, February 3rd, was the largest-ever anticipated day of Super Bowl-related absenteeism since 2005.

According to the annual Super Bowl Fever Survey more employed U.S. adults than ever said they planned to miss work on Monday.  An additional online survey conducted by The Harris Poll indicated that an estimated 17.5 million U.S. workers would miss work the after Super Bowl LIV. 11.1 million employees say they will likely use preapproved time-off, providing their managers time to make necessary scheduling adjustments. The remaining 6.4 million would not decide until Monday morning. According to the survey:  

  • 4.7 million employees planned to call in sick

  • 1.5 million employees said they would simply not show up for the day

  • 7.9 million employees are undecided and will wait until the last minute to decide

Research shows that unplanned absenteeism is a costly issue for companies that can have lasting effects on the bottom line.  Kronos and SHRM conducted a survey in 2014 that showed that the total direct and indirect cost of employee absence can reach up to 22% of base payroll.

Indirect Costs of unplanned absenteeism:

  • Replacement expenses

  • Overtime

  • Lost productivity

  • Decreased employee morale 

When it comes to low morale, this survey also revealed that 9% of employees witnessed or heard about a coworker getting in trouble or being fired for missing work the Monday after a Super Bowl; 9% were personally spoken to or given a warning for missing work; and 6% weren’t allowed to use sick time or were docked pay because they were not really sick. According to the U.S. government, the average private-sector employee works 8.5 hours per day and earns $28.32 per hour making Super Bowl Monday a $4.2 billion issue for U.S. companies.  

The reverse also results in challenges with productivity. Those who defied the odds by reporting to work as scheduled tend to be tired from a late night of celebrating. Others spend a considerable amount of time discussing game highlights. For this reason, 72% of HR managers say that “Super Monday” should be a holiday, according to a Robert Half survey.

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