'Super Sick Monday': 18.8 million staff set to miss work after Super Bowl

How many employees will 'ghost' employers instead of requesting time off?

'Super Sick Monday': 18.8 million staff set to miss work after Super Bowl

A record-high 18.8 million employees are predicted to miss work on the so-called "Super Sick Monday" after the highly anticipated Super Bowl LVII on Sunday evening.

The estimates were released by The Workforce Institute based on an online of more than 1,200 employed US adults.

According to the findings, roughly one out of five or an estimated 26.6 million people are likely to miss some work on Super Bowl Monday. This includes the 18.8 million workers who have no plans of reporting to work that day and 7.8 million who plan to start work late.

An estimated 10.9 million employees are planning to take a pre-approved personal day for Monday after the Super Bowl this year, according to the report. However, other employees said:

  • They will decide at the last minute on what to do (9.4 million)
  • They will "ghost" their work or not show up and not tell anyone they won't be working (4.7 million)
  • They will call in sick even if they're not actually sick (3.1 million)

Another 21.9 million said they will watch the game while at work on Sunday, with about 51.8 million admitting that they'll be less productive at work on the Monday at the Super Bowl. 

According to 35% of the respondents, they don't feel comfortable to ask for a day off after the Super Bowl, with 11% believing that they could get reprimanded for asking.

This leaves many businesses without employees, and as a result could lead to loss of productivity and erosion of trust.

Managers also plan to ditch work

The predictions of absenteeism on Super Bowl Monday aren't limited to employees, however, as the report revealed that 23% of managers also plan to miss work or report late on that day.

It further found that only six per cent of these managers plan to inform their teams ahead of time, while five per cent plan to "ghost" their staff on that day.

Jarik Conrad, executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG, advised managers to "model the behaviours" they want to see from their staff.

"We're all human and all have lives outside of work. There are going to be times when we want to miss work to participate in a big cultural moment like the Super Bowl," Conrad said in a statement.

"When you empower your managers to have a stake in setting the tone for their organization — when you train them to model trust and accountability, and to demonstrate workplace values indicative of a great place to work — then that ripple will uplift your entire organization."

Addressing the issue

This ongoing trend post-Super Bowl reflects a "significant gap" in manager-employee trust and transparency forming, according to The Workforce Institute.

"If workers are feeling too afraid to chat with their managers about being out, there are likely large cracks in the culture foundation," the institute said in an analysis.

To address the matter, the institute urged managers to ask employees outright on whether they're planning to miss work due to Super Bowl. They are also encouraged to offer another time off for another time if providing time around Super Bowl is not feasible within their organisation.

"Regardless of an official ruling, it's up to organizations to adequately prepare for employees taking time off — on Super Bowl Sunday, the Monday after, or any other day of the year for that matter," the institute said.

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