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There are three kinds of people: those who watch the Super Bowl for the football, those who watch for the commercials, and those who just use it as an opportunity to eat some hot wings or nachos.
According to a new survey, more of all of these people are likely to miss work on Monday than ever before. The Workforce Institute at Kronos recently released the results of its annual poll to predict post-Super Bowl workplace absenteeism. The firm surveyed 1,148 employed U.S. adults, and projected that Sunday's 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs would cause 17.5 million Americans to miss work the next day. It's the highest figure since the firm started tracking such data in 2005.
The report says that 11.1 million of those would-be work-skippers are planning to use preapproved time off, which means employers may already know about their plans. An additional 4.7 million apparently plan to call in sick, and the remaining 1.5 million simply won't show up. Lastly, 7.9 million are "undecided" and may not decide until they wake up on Monday morning.
To parse what this means for you, I'm going to do some very basic (and imperfect) math. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that roughly 158 million U.S. adults were employed in 2019. This year's absenteeism projection would constitute just under 12 percent of that workforce. So, if you have 50 employees, this survey is suggesting you might expect six of them not to be in on Monday.
One or two of your 50 employees will call in sick. Two or three haven't made up their minds yet. Half of one simply won't show up. Insert a hangover joke about "half of a person" here.
Back in 2015, Inc. senior editor Graham Winfrey set out to learn how workplaces can best accommodate or prevent Super Bowl absenteeism. He found Kevin Curry, an executive at absence management company Reed Group, who recommended two "carrot" options:
Announce a late-start option for workers who might want to temporarily shift their hours later into the day.
Offer free breakfast for workers who can make it to the office on time.
And two "stick" options:
Make Monday a mandatory workday.
Require that your employees request that particular day off in advance.
"If you're Google and you want to encourage people to come to work, you'd probably use the carrot method," Curry said. "If you're a manufacturer and you have to run a production line, you probably want to use the stick method."
As for me? I'll be tired, but I'll be here on Monday. Maybe my co-workers and I can pool our leftover hot wings.
Note: This article was updated on Monday February 3.