Super Bowl Fever May Sideline Record 17.5 Million Workers on Monday

The Year of Workplace Absence: Elections, Summer Olympics, and World Cup also Headline Action-packed 2020 as Employees Crave a Modern Holiday Calendar

LOWELL, Mass., Jan. 28, 2020 — The highly anticipated annual Super Bowl Fever Survey, commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and conducted online by The Harris Poll in January 2020 among 1,148 employed U.S. adults ages 18 and older, estimates that 17.5 million1 employed U.S. adults will reportedly miss work the day after Super Bowl LIV – making Monday, Feb. 3, the largest-ever anticipated day of Super Bowl-related absenteeism since The Workforce Institute at Kronos began tracking this phenomenon in 2005.

News Facts

  • More employees than ever expect to miss work on #SuperMonday after the Super Bowl.
    • An estimated 17.5 million U.S. employees say they may not go to work Monday after Super Bowl LIV. The record-setting figure surpasses previous estimates from The Workforce Institute at Kronos in 2019 (17.2 million2), 2018 (13.9 million3), and 2016 (16.5 million4).
    • A remarkable 11.1 million5 employees say they will likely use preapproved time-off, while 4.7 million6 employees plan to call in sick even though they’re really not ill.
      • Ghosting is a trend the Workforce Institute is now tracking: 1.5 million7 employees say they will not tell anyone they’re not coming in and they just won’t show up.
      • Another 7.9 million8 employees are undecided and will wait until the last minute to decide whether to go to work Monday.
    • More than a quarter (29%) of employees confirm they’ve missed work or gone in late at least once on the Monday after a Super Bowl in the past, including 10% who faked an illness.
  • Regardless of the game’s outcome, 67% of employees say they are happy that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots have the Super Bowl off this year.
  • Will The Big Game ever be The Big Holiday Weekend? It Will Still Take a Hail Mary.
    • This year, 40% of employees agree the Monday after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday, compared to 32% in 20199.  Nearly two-thirds (63%) believe the Super Bowl should be moved to the Sunday night before Presidents Day, which is already a national holiday in February where some businesses close or cut back on their planned workload and staffing.
    • Fox is running #SuperMonday commercials to rally fans behind the movement this year – a separate Workforce Institute at Kronos and The Harris Poll survey10 found 64% of employees say paid holidays should become more aligned with popular cultural events that affect their everyday life instead of historic or religious events.
  • About a quarter of employees (24%) believe more federal holidays should be created in addition to the current ones if needed and nearly two-thirds (60%) would be willing to replace an existing federal holiday with a new one.
    • Days of the year employees most wish were paid holidays include: New Year’s Eve (33%), Black Friday (26%), their birthday (25%), Election day (20%), Halloween (19%), July 5th (16%), and their community’s first day of school (13%).
  • Workplaces need a proactive game plan to beat Super Bowl absences.
  • 9% of employees witnessed or heard about a coworker getting in trouble or being fired for missing work 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.
    • One bright spot: 7% of employees report their manager actually said they were happy the employee took Monday after the Super Bowl off.
  • The Super Bowl kicks off a busy 2020 that will challenge productivity all year long.
    • Nearly half (48%) of employees say they expect to miss work, come in late, or be distracted (for example, by spending time on the clock reading about or live streaming) because of pop culture or current events this year.
      • Big 2020 events that don’t happen every year that are expected to impact productivity include the Presidential campaigns (15%), Tokyo Summer Olympics (13%), the World Cup (13%.)
      • Annual events will have an impact, too, including Hollywood award shows, such as February’s highly rated Academy Awards and other TV/movie events (17%), March Madness and major basketball games (16%), and the Masters and other golf tournaments (9%.)

Supporting Quotes

  • Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos

“Despite the well-documented spike in workplace absences on the Monday following the Super Bowl, many organizations continue to operate as though it is business as usual that day. While the focus remains largely on reactive measures – such as memos, discipline, and even firings – organizations that proactively plan will be rewarded with fewer absences and, more importantly, higher employee engagement. I find it very encouraging that engaged employees are more likely to take Monday off: This signals they’re able to have open and honest conversations with their employer about time-off and, conversely, it’s likely their employer promotes flexibility. 2020 will be one of the biggest years for workplace absence due to an action-packed calendar of major events and pop culture milestones. Organizations that embrace this through open discussions around time-off, self-service scheduling, and company-wide events will find themselves with a significant advantage in the competition to recruit and retain top talent.”

Supporting Resources

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit www.kronos.com. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

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Survey Methodology:

The “Super Bowl Fever” survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll between Jan. 16 – 21, 2020 among 1,148 employed U.S adults aged 18+. This online survey is based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact daniel.gouthro@kronos.com.

Footnote 1: Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2019 report that estimates there are 158,803,000 employed people in the U.S.: 158.803 million x 0.11% of employed adults who may stay home = 17.46 million

Footnote 2: Respondents were asked a similar but different question in 2019. Results available here.

Footnote 3: Respondents were asked a similar but different question in 2018. Results available here.

Footnote 4: Respondents were asked a similar but different question in 2016. Results available here. No survey was conducted in 2017.

Footnote 5: Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2019 report that estimates there are 158,803,000 employed people in the U.S.: 158.803 x 7% preapproved time off = 11.1 million

Footnote 6: Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2019 report that estimates there are 158,803,000 employed people in the U.S.: 158.803 million x 3% who will pretend to be sick = 4.7 million

Footnote 7: Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2019 report that estimates there are 158,803,000 employed people in the U.S.: 158.803 million x 1% who will “ghost” their workplace = 1.5 million

Footnote 8: Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2019 report that estimates there are 158,803,000 employed people in the U.S.: 158.803 million x 5% will decide at the last minute = 7.9 million

Footnote 9: Respondents were asked a similar but different question in 2019. Results available here.

Footnote 10: The “Holidays at Work” Survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Kronos from Oct. 3-7, 2019 among 1,180 employed U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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Contact                

Dan Gouthro

Kronos Incorporated

+1 978.947.7310

daniel.gouthro@kronos.com