Super Bowl LVII: Will 18M+ Employees Miss Work On Monday?

An estimated 18.8 million U.S. employees may miss work the Monday after Super Bowl LVII, according to new research from The Workforce Institute at UKG.

In what could be a new record, an estimated 18.8 million1 U.S. employees may miss work the Monday after Super Bowl LVII, according to new research. The Workforce Institute at UKG has tracked this American phenomenon since 2005.

Super Bowl LVII
(Photo: Adobe Stock by JJAVA)

Nearly two in five U.S. employees (37%) admit to missing work or going in late on Super Bowl Monday at least once in their lives. Yet, despite so many people taking part in Super Sick Monday, more than a third of U.S. employees (35%) say they wouldn’t feel comfortable asking their manager for time off the day after the Super Bowl, with around 1 in 10 U.S. employees (11%) believing they’d be reprimanded just for asking.

The lack of transparency between employees and managers creates a mounting problem in the form of unplanned absence, lost productivity, and erosion of trust — a problem that could be tackled by more honest communication and greater workplace flexibility.

Workplace Trends To Watch

  • Roughly 1 out of every 5 U.S. employees (17%) — an estimated 26.6 million people — are likely to miss at least some work on Super Bowl Monday, including a combined record-breaking 18.8 million1 U.S. employees not planning to go to work, and 7.8 million2 who plan to start work late.
  • On Super Bowl Sunday, an estimated 17.2 million3 U.S. employees say they’ve either made arrangements to get out of working, plan to fake sick, or will simply not show up for their Sunday night shift so they can watch the game.
  • An estimated 21.9 million4 U.S. employees may watch the game while at work on Super Bowl Sunday, and one-third of all U.S. employees (33%) — an estimated 51.8 million5 people — say they’ll be less productive than usual at work on Monday after the Super Bowl this year.
  • More than 2 out of every 5 U.S. employees (42%) believe the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday.
Super Bowl LVII
(Graphic: Business Wire)

Employers Blindsided By Absence, Productivity Loss

While an estimated 10.9 million U.S. employees6 plan to take a pre-approved personal day the Monday after the Super Bowl this year, others will play hooky or, worse, blow off their employer entirely. Workers polled said:

  • I will “ghost” my work (i.e., not show up and not tell anyone I will not be working): 4.7 million7 U.S. employees
  • I will call in sick to work even if I’m not actually sick: 3.1 million8 U.S. employees
  • I will decide at the last minute what to do [about work]: 9.4 million9 U.S. employees

Managers are not immune: Nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. employees who manage other people plan to miss work or go in late on Super Bowl Monday this year. In advance of missing work (either part of the day or the whole day) on the Monday after the Super Bowl, just 6% of people managers plan to notify their direct reports or teams. Another 5% of people managers don’t have any intention to reveal their absence plans to their managers as they plan to “ghost” work completely that day, which is even more than individual contributors.10 This exacerbates a phenomenon that’s worsened over time, as an estimated nearly 2 million more people plan to “ghost” their employer on Monday this year, compared with The Workforce Institute’s 2021 study.11

“Middle managers need to model the behaviors that they want to see from employees and treat their people the way they would want to be treated — that is to say, with authenticity and understanding,” said Dr. Jarik Conrad, executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG.

An estimated nearly 2 million more people plan to “ghost” their employer on Monday this year, compared with The Workforce Institute’s 2021 study.

“We’re all human and all have lives outside of work,” Conrad continued. “There are going to be times when we want to miss work to participate in a big cultural moment like the Super Bowl, to care for family members or cheer on our kids at their activities, or for something as small as taking your car in for repairs. 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.”

Want to learn more? Read an analysis from The Workforce Institute for how employers can avoid taking a loss on Super Bowl Monday.

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Notes

1 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 12% of employed adults who may not go to work on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 18.84 million. A new record is set, as this is the largest number of planned absences projected since The Workforce Institute first commissioned this survey in 2005—though the question was altered YoY.

2 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 5% of employed adults who are planning to start work later than normal on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 7.85 million

3 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 11% of employed adults who may not go to work on Sunday during the time that Super Bowl LVII airs = 17.27 million.

4 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 14% of employed adults who will be working on Sunday during Super Bowl LVII but plan to watch at least some of the game = 21.98 million

5 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 33% of employed adults who will be less productive at work than usual on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 51.82 million.

6 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 7% of employed adults who will take a pre-approved/personal day/PTO on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 10.99 million.

7 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 3% of employed adults who are planning to “ghost” their workplace on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 4.71 million

8 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 2% of employed adults who are planning to “call in sick” to work on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 3.14 million

9 Calculation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2022 report that estimates there are 157,033,000 employed people adults in the U.S.: 157,033,000 x 6% of employed adults who plan to wait until the last minute to decide whether to work on Monday after Super Bowl LVII = 9.42 million

10 Five percent of people managers in the U.S. vs. a mere 0.40% of individual contributors in the U.S. are planning to “ghost” their workplace on Monday after Super Bowl LVII.

11 Respondents were asked a similar question in January 2021.

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