Slideshow Managing lost productivity, absenteeism post Super Bowl

  • January 29 2015, 9:30am EST
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In addition to employees often calling in sick after a late night cheering on the Seattle Seahawks or New England Patriots during the season, an estimated 1.5 million employees will call in sick the Monday after the big game and 4.4 million employees will arrive late, according to the Workforce Institute at Kronos. Here are some ideas on how to deal with the disruption.

1. Turn unplanned absences into planned ones

Managers who plan ahead of time can curb productivity losses. Kronos found a 19% loss in productivity for unplanned absence as opposed to 13% for planned absence.

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2. Offer flexibility

Organizations with a high number of Gen X and Gen Y employees are typically short staffed the Monday after the big game. So companies, especially those with younger employees, should offer flexible work hours when feasible.

3. Look for patterns

By analyzing absenteeism data, employers can find and offset patterns where workers typically call in sick - due to legitimate illness. For example, they can market flu benefits to convince employees to get flu shots before suffering from widespread absences. Around the world, Chinese workers are most likely (54%) to call in sick so they can stay home and watch or attend a sporting event, while in France only 1% said they were likely to do so. The U.S. comes in toward the bottom at 7%.

4. Get in on the fun

Which sports were most likely to cause employees to miss work? In Australia, France, Mexico, and the U.K., soccer took the top spot. In the U.S., it was football. Employers can positively channel excitement by having their on-site cafeteria serve game-day food like subs or wings. Or they can tap into the excitement of the event by hosting employee appreciation days throughout the year. Sports provide a connection for colleagues to discuss the game, let off steam and get together in a friendly way.