I hope you didn't schedule any big business meetings on Monday. A new study shows that on the day after Super Bowl Sunday, the only move many employees make is to to the telephone to call in sick.

According to a study entitled The "Super Bowl Fever Sidelines Employees on Monday Morning" sponsored by the Workforce Institute in conjunction with Harris Interactive, over 1.5 million U.S. workers will call in sick on Monday, no matter what the Patriots or Giants do.

Tardiness is an issue, too. The survey shows that another three percent of respondents, or an estimated 4.4 million employees, may arrive late to work the Monday after the Super Bowl. This number is in-line with the three percent of respondents who admit to, in the past, having arrived late to work the Monday after the Super Bowl.

Interestingly enough, three percent also say that they have previously called in sick to work the Monday after the Super Bowl, indicating that the number of employees who actually do call in sick may be significantly higher than the number who say they might.

The younger the employee, the more likely the "I've got a flu" phone call to work. Super Bowl-related absences could be particularly striking for organizations with a high population of Gen X and Gen Y employees, as the majority of the employed adults who say they may call in sick the day after the Super Bowl are males and females between the ages of 18-34 years (4 percent and 3 percent, respectively).

Unscheduled absences, including those that organizations will experience after the Super Bowl, cost U.S. employers billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, impact production and customer service, and create employee satisfaction problems. Until recently, few organizations were conscience of this hidden cost or were simply not focused on controlling it.

"Today, best practice organizations are using automated solutions to manage and apply attendance policies fairly and consistently throughout their organizations," says Joyce Maroney, director of the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, which helped sponsor the study. "Managers benefit from the timely information, which enables them to quickly adjust to unscheduled absences without impacting production or employee satisfaction. Employees are empowered with self-service tools, which provide access to vacation and personal leave time balance information, encouraging them to plan appropriately for time away from work. This supports a healthy work/ life balance and reduces unscheduled absences."

That may be true, whatever it is she meant. But until Congress just says "screw it" and make Super Bowl Monday a national holiday, the most successful companies on the day after the big game are the ones that make aspirin, pillows, coffee, and those little black masks you see people use to fall asleep on airplanes.
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William Dorn

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